Religious School News – April, 2020

The word Kesher means connection.  In our Religious School, we have named our B’nai Mitzvah class Kesher.  It makes sense.  The Bat or Bar Mitzvah year is the time when many of the concepts that have been illuminated during the past years of Religious School are solidified.  One of the earliest middot that on which we focus when our little ones enter Sunday school is the Mitzvah of giving tzedakah. During the Kesher year, in preparation for their Bat or Bar Mitzvah, the students are putting together their Mitzvah Project.  These projects are typically geared towards Tikkun Olam or repairing the world.  This actualizing of past concepts is a way of connecting with Jewish adulthood.

The intensification of their Hebrew studies connects our students to a language that was used, not only in liturgical settings, but with modern day Israeli life.  And, of course, the reading of the Torah and Haftorah portions connects our students to the wisdom of our ancestral fathers and mothers, not to mention the spiritual connection to our faith.

Kesher (connection) is an essential component of becoming recognized as an adult member of a community.  One must both create opportunity to connect, as our Kesher class has been doing, and, be engaged in connective opportunities by our kehillah.

The experience of becoming a Bat or Bar Mitzvah is a unique privilege.  One that comes with a lot of hard work and a great deal of effort.  As a community, we must embrace our B’nai Mitzvah class and welcome them into our congregation as new members.  One way to do so is to attend their B’nai Mitzvah services.

Our younger students are also encouraged to attend as a way to begin their connection to this privileged experience.

If you haven’t attended a Bat or Bar Mitzvah this past fall, use this Spring as an opportunity to attend any one (or more) of our nine upcoming Saturday morning services.  Please check the congregational calendar for more information.

Seth Kellam,

Director of Religious Education & Sacred Music