“Reinventing The Bar Mitzvah” on HuffPost Live
On the heels of last week’s New York Times article on the Reform Movement’s efforts to revamp and reinvigorate b’nai mitzvah, HuffPost Live recently ran a great segment on the same topic, featuring the URJ’s own Rabbi Bradley Solmsen on a panel of guests. As Director of Youth Engagement, Rabbi Solmsen heads the Reform Movement’s Campaign for Youth Engagement and is intimately involved with the B’nai Mitzvah Revolution, a joint initiative of the URJ and HUC-JIR to empower synagogues to return depth and meaning to Jewish learning and reduce the staggering rates of post-b’nai mitzvah dropout.
In “Oy Gevalt: Reinventing The Bar Mitzvah,” HuffPost Live asks, “As…more Bar Mitzvahs focus largely on the over-the-top parties, leaders of Reform Judaism are trying to make Bar Mitzvahs more about faith and celebrating the Jewish community. But how do you change the focus?” Joining Rabbi Solmsen were panelists Mira Sucharov, blogger and associate professor of political science at Carleton University in Ottawa; Henry Rubin, a Jewish grad student at Johns Hopkins; and Sydnee Bursik, an associate producer at HuffPost Live who “had a fancy bat mitzvah.”