Enriching Mitzvah ResourcesAs a Jewish girl or boy reaches their perceived age of maturity which is 12 and 13, respectively, their parents normally throw a big celebration. This includes a religious service followed by a reception and party afterwards. However, more than the celebration, the bar and bat mitzvahs are also required to continue learning about their Jewish religion to guide them as they mature into full adults and lead a more independent life in their later years.
These days, youngsters have so many resources to lean on that could teach them about the Jewish life and tradition. There are numerous books available, magazines, software and of course, the internet from where they could gather relevant information. These materials, though, are not exclusive for Jewish people as anybody regardless of creed and race who’d like to gain more understanding of the bar or bat mitzvah are free to use them.
Below are some books and CD-ROM ideal for learning of this very popular “coming of age” celebration.
- The Complete Bar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah Preparation Book: Everything You need to Plan a Meaningful Celebration by Patti Moskovitz – This is a practical guide meant for students and parents to planning a celebration involving a religious service and a reception. It features the experiences and rituals of families as well as information from rabbis, parents and children. It has sections on the long-term planning and preparation, the goals of the celebration, its spiritual meaning, about the adult bar/bat mitzvahs and Jewish life afterward. Typical services included and their descriptions as well as suggestions for a more personalized event are also given.
- The Complete Bar / Bat Mitzvah Planner by Linda Seifer Sage – This is an all-inclusive guide that provides complete information on the right way to plan for the celebration. It offers a step-by-step guide from the temple service to the reception and party and tips on how to save money and reduce your stress in the planning. This book teaches you to develop a system to keep track of every detail. Read through some of the numerous personal experiences and find out helpful advices on coordinating with important people such as the photographer, videographer, musicians, DJs, florists, decorator and printers. This could be an ideal gift to those planning this kind of party in the near future.
- Bar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah Basics: A Practical Family Guide to Coming of Age Together by Helen Leneman – This book provides parents and their teens the how-to’s on becoming a bar or bat mitzvah and how to grow together as a family in unity and harmony. Important people involved in this process give meaningful insights to make everything easy and enjoyable. Sharing their experiences in this book are the rabbis, cantors, Jewish educators from the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements, parents and teenagers.
- Make Your Own Bar Mitzvah/ Bat Mitzvah: A Personal Approach to Creating a Meaningful Rite of Passage by Rabbi Goldie Milgram – This is an inspirational book that will surely help parents become team members supporting their child every step of the way as he or she becomes a bar or bat mitzvah. A unique business-like approach is provided here starting from a two-year action plan with a mission statement, strategies, charts and goals. Additionally, the author urges the teens to know themselves, find the prayer of their hearts and learn the language of the spirit. Real-life experiences of families and students are also provided.
- Bar Mitzvah Tutor, CD-ROM featuring all five books – This training tool is a program that contains complete Maftir and Haftarah readings in both Ashkenazi and Israeli accents. It includes human voice recordings of readings with special English translation. Background information on the bar mitzvah and mitzvot are also provided.
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