A Bar Mitzvah Year

Rethinking Ritual

in European Judaism
Restricted access

This article describes the journey of the author’s secular Jewish family as they grappled with how to celebrate their sons’ bar mitzvahs. It is a personal reflection, based on diary entries kept throughout the period of planning a Jewish rite of passage; creating new rituals outside of the conventional religious practice marking a boy’s transition to manhood. This process led the author to consider both what it means to be a secular Jew as well as alternative ways to celebrate Jewish culture.