The Power of a Promise

All the B’nai Mitzvah at our congregation promise to continue their Jewish education through at least the end of Tenth Grade. The power of this pledge has led to a Confirmation program of depth, meaning and quality. Those who have gone through Confirmation at Temple Shalom speak for years – even decades – afterwards of what that year, and its culmination, meant to them. In the dark of the night, with the class in the background but unable to hear, alone with the Torah in arms and standing in front of the open ark, two nights before the Confirmation service itself our Confirmands give voice, in their own words their “vows” about what their Jewish identity means to them. They then lead a service written with their own words and reflections: a living Midrash (interpretation) and personal reframing of the prayers of Jewish life. In these ways, and more, we teach our soon-to-be young adults to “own” their Jewish identity.