There are a couple things you have to find out about Shoresh this year. (You won't believe #5!)
This school year our community had the incredible privilege of being part of nine students’ b’nei mitzvah. I love sitting in the congregation during these b’nei mitzvah services with the student’s classmates and families. The b’nei mitzvah student leads us in prayer. The parents and I shed tears together as we see the b’nei mitzvah hold the Torah for the first time. We clap together and shout “Mazel tov!” Students gather on the bima with the b’nei mitzvah to sing motzi together at the end of the service. We exchange hugs. We part ways, saying “See you soon!”, and look forward to the next time we see each other.
But the best part isn't any of that.
Shoresh is committed to the Jewish value of kavod/respect, for which there are corresponding behavior expectations. A brit is a covenant. This year, we are asking Shoresh parents to read through this section and enter into a brit, a covenant, with their student(s), with other families, and with our Shoresh community to bring kavod (respect) and shalom (peace) to Shoresh each week.
A child becoming bar or bat mitzvah is an incredible event in the life cycle of a Jewish family. KAM Isaiah Israel has prepared a b'nei mitzah handbook to help make the period of study and preparation for the ceremony less stressful and, hopefully, more meaningful.
What are we doing at Shoresh to honor our congregation's 170-year-old roots? Helping our students root themselves in Judaism in order to extend their Jewish selves into the world they are creating—they are creating the next chapter in our congregation's history book.