In this family-directed program, parents and children go through a process of identifying four to six adults who will serve as mentors to the child in the months prior to the bar/bat mitzvah. Each mentor is encouraged to meet with the child at least one time prior to the b’nai mitzvah service (and ideally afterward, as well). The mentors themselves are considered learners, too, and are provided with special support and training by J-Jolt staff. Through the mentorship experience, the b’nai mitzvah child is expected to: learn more about his or herself; craft a unique ritual to be incorporated into the b’nai mitzvah weekend; and build relationships with adults in his or her extended family and community.
The J-Jolt website includes several resources to help implement the program in congregations including a J-Jolt Family Guide, an orientation webinar, and sample materials that congregations can customize for their own use.
Grade levels: 6, 7
Learners: Children (pre-B’nai Mitzvah), Parents, Community Members, Extended Family Members
Families have the option of enrolling in this program in addition to the regular educational offerings
Year Implemented: 2014
Union for Reform Judaism
Currently running in Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida
B’nai Mitzvah each year: 35