It is important to guide our children as they grow Jewishly and spiritually, and it is critical that we teach them how to journey: how to ask questions, how to struggle with text, how to honor the way others search, and how to remain vitally engaged in tradition and community.
During community gatherings, care is taken to ensure that our children’s voices are heard and respected. As surely as we are our children’s teachers, we are also their students, ever learning from their queries and concerns, their joys and imagination.
Sha’ar offers creative programming for children. Innovative initiatives include explorations of Torah and Jewish values through such media as art and theater.
We have created an environment where children can build their own relationship to prayer. During children’s services, music and learning are again the means by which we engage and inspire our children to establish their personal relationships with family, community, and God. Sha’ar offers its B’nai Mitzvah children the innovative program “Mosaic of the Mitzvot” which takes children through an odyssey of discovery of their own relationships to community, family, themselves, the planet and God.
Becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah often focuses on the rituals and celebrations of the big day, and not enough on what it means for young adults to assume the full range of responsibilities of leading a Jewish life. Mastering synagogue skills is an important piece of fulfilling the commandments between us and God, Mitzvot Beyn Adam Lamakom, but there is more. Commandments between us and our fellow human beings, Mitzvot Beyn Adam Lechavero, teach us that caring for ourselves involves caring for others as well. Commandments between us and our community, Mitzvot Beyn Adam Lekehillato, sensitize us to the importance of each of us within the life of our communities. Commandments between us and the world, Mitzvot Beyn Adam Le’olamo, instruct us about our role in caring for the environment and sustaining a healthy planet for all of creation. Commandments between us and those from whom we are different, Mitzvot Beyn Adam Le’Achero, guide us in nurturing our own growth as Jews within a diverse and multicultural world.
Join us in this journey of exploration into the multifaceted experience of becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, a son or daughter of the commandments, and staying that way. Each session will be led by Rabbi Adina Lewittes together with guests when appropriate, and will include discussion and reflection. Two parents per group will be asked to volunteer their time during each of the sessions.
This agency/organization Sha’ar Communities is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey