This gallery of B’nai Mitzvah Innovations profiles cutting edge approaches to B’nai Mitzvah.

First, begin your exploration of our six areas of experimentation with a button below.

Second, enjoy browsing through each of the snapshots in the collections.

Relationship-Building Retreats

Temple Beth El focuses on building relationships among its families and creating a sense of group identity among student peer groups. To further this effort, fifth- and sixth-graders participate in retreats to connect with peers and their families. In fifth grade, students participate in a “mini-retreat,” a one-night event at the synagogue. The event is intended to build relationships among fifth-graders in a familiar space for no more than one night, helping to reduce anxiety about being away from home. In sixth grade, all students attend a weekend-long retreat with at least one parent (all family members are invited to attend) at a retreat center.

Lessons Learned

Parents and children alike have opportunities to build relationships with their respective peers.

Program Info

Grade levels: 5, 6

Learners: Children (pre-B’nai Mitzvah), Parents, Siblings

Everyone in the target audience is required to participate in the program.

Year Implemented: 2013


  • Becoming an Adolescent
  • Family Engagement

About Us

Temple Beth El of South Orange County

Aliso Viejo, CA

650 members

Reform Congregation

B’nai Mitzvah each year: 40