"Kenny, you were a central part of the amazing day we experienced. I am so appreciative that you agreed to take on this project and that you and Isi formed such a strong connection. It meant a tremendous amount to our family. I also very much appreciate your extending an invitation to Isi to stay in touch with him whether about Torah or anything else."
-Jennifer Levi (mother of the Bar Mitzvah)
The fact of the matter is a Jewish child becomes a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at the age of 13 (in many communities 12 for a girl) without doing anything. Becoming a bar/bat mitzvah means you are now subject to the sacred obligations of responsible adulthood. That can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. In the modern American Jewish tradition it frequently looks like chanting from the Torah, doing a little teaching about what you just chanted, and then having a big party later that day or evening. That's not bad, but we can probably do a whole lot better.
Depending on what you and your child are looking for, the process of preparation can take several months or many years. It really depends on what the goal is. My goal, for sure, is to help create an experience of learning that is fun, exciting and substantive. I want the entire family to walk away from the experience of training for a bar/bat mitzvah with a desire to walk towards Judaism, have a new-found appreciation for how you could bring its insights into your life on a daily basis, and truly have a bar/bat mitzvah ceremony be the beginning of a process, not the end.
We'll work together to set goals, devise a learning plan and create a ceremony that responds to where you're at.