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Rabbi Stacey Blank

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Israel b'nai mitzvah students and their leaders outside the Knesset during Hanukkah 2017

All Israeli Reform congregations have a b’nai mitzvah course. We invite the young men and women and their families not only to learn to read from the Torah and formulate a d'var Torah, but also to explore the Jewish tradition and gain tools for their journey as Jewish Israeli adults.  (In Israel, of course, all the kids know Hebrew, and most families don’t start looking for a synagogue until three to six months before the ceremony!)

In my congregation in Tzur Hadassah, most of the kids identify as “secular.” (Of course, Israelis see Jewish identity as “secular” or “religious,” and...

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