In the fall, all pre-b’nai mitzvah children attend the B’nai Mitzvah Family Retreat with at least one parent. This gives families the opportunity to connect with one another, reflect on the process of b’nai mitzvah, and experience an immersive Jewish weekend. In addition to Shabbat services, parents and children spend time with their peers and with each other to explore issues surrounding b’nai mitzvah. Parents participate in activities designed to remind them what it was like to be 13 years old and to recognize that the process of becoming an adult is not easy. To gain better understanding of one another, parents and children share in an exercise exchanging perceptions and memories of being 13. Parents also write a blessing for their children on an adhesive that is then placed inside the child’s copy of Mishkan T’filah.
Being offsite is key to giving families time to take inventory and focus on this major lifecycle event.
Grade levels: 7
Learners: Children (pre-B’nai Mitzvah), Parents
Everyone in the target audience is required to participate in the program.
Year Implemented: 2007
Congregation Rodef Sholom
San Rafael, CA
B’nai Mitzvah each year: 70