The Bar and Bat Mitz­vah Man­u­al: Six Steps to a Mem­o­rable Fam­i­ly Celebration

Steven M. Bob and Lisa Bob Howard
  • Review
By – January 16, 2012
This 64-page paper­back work­book is pri­mar­i­ly intend­ed by its pub­lish­er as a tool to help rab­bis, can­tors, edu­ca­tion direc­tors, and fam­i­ly pro­gram­mers pre­pare b’nai mitz­vah and their fam­i­lies for that momen­tous life-cycle event.” Con­ve­nient­ly divid­ed into six seg­ments, or ses­sions, each focus­es on a dif­fer­ent aspect of Bar or Bat Mitz­vah, tak­ing the stu­dent, along with his/​her fam­i­ly, from an ini­tial under­stand­ing of the cer­e­mo­ny and its sig­nif­i­cance through a brief process of learn­ing about Torah and mitzvoth into con­sid­er­a­tion of how to car­ry Jew­ish val­ues into the cel­e­bra­tion and beyond into adult life. Pages direct­ed to the teen, com­ments geared to par­ents, tex­tu­al ref­er­ences, and sto­ries from the real world are here, along with sug­ges­tions for pick­ing mitz­vah projects and mak­ing non- Jew­ish guests feel at home. As an educator’s resource, the arrange­ment of the book­let, with def­i­nite instruc­tion and numer­ous write-in spaces for fam­i­ly insights, is best suit­ed to a guid­ed and struc­tured insti­tu­tion­al approach. How­ev­er, depend­ing on cir­cum­stances, fam­i­lies or lay groups might also find it use­ful to use on their own since there are exer­cis­es and work­shops” on var­i­ous aspects of prepa­ra­tion and par­tic­i­pa­tion and a Leader’s Guide down­load is avail­able online from Behrman House for $4.95. Illus­trat­ed with photos.
Rita Berman Frisch­er was direc­tor of Sinai Tem­ple Blu­men­thal Library for twen­ty years. She has served as a judge for chil­dren’s books awards, writ­ten chap­ters on chil­dren’s book for var­i­ous bib­li­o­graph­ic works and is a fre­quent review­er for Jew­ish peri­od­i­cals and newspapers.

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