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B'nei Mitzvah

Group photo of Rabbi Paul Kipnes speaking to a group of teenagers in front of the Its a Small World ride at Disneyland

On my trip to Disneyland, I missed Papa intensely as we rode through the brightly colored, musical attraction, but our seventh graders filled the boat with so much singing and laughing that made it uplifting in a way that Papa would have appreciated.

Rabbi Paul Kipnes
Line drawing of some of the characters from the Avengers movie

The film got me thinking about how Judaism has affected my own “story arc,” particularly my own sense of worthiness - and the story of Thor, the Norse god of thunder, taught me what it means to be truly “worthy.”

Chris Harrison
Hand reaching toward Michelle Obamas book Becoming

Here are a few takeaways from Mrs. Obama’s book that coincide with Jewish values.

Audrey Merwin
Various tallitot on display

As the synagogue’s lockdown drill began, I bolted the door, lowered the blinds, and took a seat next to the new bar mitzvah student I’d met only minutes before.

Rabbi Sharon G. Forman
Three firefighters face the California wildfires

“There's a hill right across the street from our temple — it was fully engulfed — and there was a raining down of sparks onto our property," the rabbi told JTA on Monday.

Josefin Dolsten (JTA)
Jeff Erlanger in his electric wheelchair reading Torah from the pulpit

In building the ramp, we felt we had been true to the Talmudic maxim Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Bazeh, “All Jews are responsible for one another."

Rabbi Kenneth Roseman
Torah text with silver had and tallit fringes

In the process of becoming b’nai mitzvah, adult students grapple, struggle, and wrestle, and in the end, always bring Torah to life and life to Torah.

Rabbi Lisa S. Greene
Large group of teenagers posing with Rabbi Paul Kipnes in front of the US Capitol Building

We met with the legislative directors who we could sense knew – and they knew that the teens knew – that our teens would be voting in just a few years time.

Rabbi Paul Kipnes and Rabbi Julia Weisz
Judy Leavitt holding a Torah for her Bat Mitzvah

Whatever our age, we must never stop learning; the quest for lifelong learning is vital. We can use the knowledge to better ourselves and to understand the world to decide how we must act.

Judith Kline Leavitt
Three men in bathing suits sitting on a large chair on the beach that reads TEL AVIV LOVES ME

Five years ago, H. Alan Scott emerged from the mikveh waters. Soon, he'll be celebrating another milestone: throwing himself a bar mitzvah.

Derek Kwait (JTA)

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