Coming of Age Ceremonies and Nontraditional Bar Mitzvahs

You’re not taking your family to synagogue or church, but you want your child to have a sense of community and spiritual connection. When the kids are young, it’s easy to get wrapped up in everyday survival mode and not think about these things much. But now your child is turning into a teenager, and the change leaves you questioning what you really want to pass on. You sense that your child needs guidance, and the time is ripe, but you’re not sure exactly what to do.  

If you want to honor your child’s transition into adolescence in a way that feels authentic to your own family’s values and culture, you’ve come to the right place. I work with families in-person and/or remotely with events as casual as a backyard gathering or as thorough in preparation as a bar mitzvah. For families wanting a smaller event with relatively simple preparation, just one consultation may be all you need to design and facilitate your own ceremony. For those desiring a more hands-on approach, I recommend getting in touch 3-6 months before your event so your child has time to prepare (9-16 months for a bar mitzvah or more intensive spiritual/ethical/cultural development program). Elements we incorporate into the preparation phase may include spiritual study, self-reflection, physical preparation, exploring cultural heritage, creative expression, and community service, depending on your priorities.

My approach works well if you:

  • Grew up in organized religion, but you’re not affiliated as an adult
  • Grew up in a “religious light” or secular household
  • Are in an interfaith/intercultural relationship or a relationship where only one parent feels connected to their culture or religion of origin
  • Want your kids to feel loved, acknowledged, and supported by community and also be empathic with a desire to contribute to the greater world they live in

I offer an initial phone consultation to interested families, where we determine your needs and develop a plan for creating a ceremony that feels comfortable, meaningful, and completely your own. Please contact me for more information. Fees vary depending on the scale of the event and the level of support you are looking for.