Monday, January 03, 2011

Christians celebrate their barmitzvahs

The phenomenon of non-Jews wanting barmitzvah parties has been known for quite a while, especially in the States. But I was intrigued to see that a British Christian school in Bradford is offering its pupils a 'barmitzvah programme' - adopting not the frivolous aspects, but the serious ones.
The course is in four modules:
  • Changing Me: looking at bodily changes, including emerging sexuality. Students also write an autobiography to capture the events of their childhood.
  • My place in my family: including negotiating freedoms, and taking responsibility within the home. We also look at building a relationship with the child emerging into adulthood.
  • My place in the church: considers how young people might develop their own relationship with God. Those committed to a church are encouraged to get to know the people and ministries of the church and to begin to discover their own gifts.
  • My place in the world: The United Kingdom is statistically a difficult place to grow up. Young people can be damaged through the extremes of youth culture. Teenagers spend more time away from their home in the company of their peers rather than under the supervision of their parents. This programme seeks to give young people the ability to discern their culture and to make healthy personal choices.

The year ends with a celebration evening. Each young person invites guests to a leisurely meal where the members of their class makes a presentation on a topic subject of their choice.

It sounds kind of similar to the batmitzvah programme I went through as a schoolgirl in Israel. If only most diaspora Jews took their barmitzvah year as seriously as these Christians....

(h/t: David R.)

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