Confirmation is a somewhat less widespread coming of age ritual that occurs when a child is 16 or 18. Confirmation was originally developed by the Reform movement, which scorned the idea that a 13 year old child was an adult (but see explanation below). They replaced bar and bat mitzvah with a confirmation ceremony at the age of 16 or 18. However, due to the overwhelming popularity of the bar or bat mitzvah, the Reform movement has revived the practice. I don't know of any Reform synagogues that do not encourage the practice of bar and bat mitzvahs at age 13 today.
In some Conservative synagogues, however, the confirmation concept has been adopted as a way to continue a child's Jewish education and involvement for a few more years.
16 Sivan 5776
June 22, 2016
Dear Confirmation Parents and Students,
I am writing to let you know about our new Temple Tiferet Shalom Confirmation program for 2016-2017 (5777). As your new rabbi, I am pleased that I have been given the opportunity to teach this class and guide our 10th graders toward the ceremony of Confirmation, an important milestone in Reform Jewish life.
The program will be a bit different from previous years. We will meet approximately twice a month on Tuesday evenings. Students will be asked to commit to the entire course, not just selected dates. I am devising a curriculum that will include hot-button topics, ethical issues, and Jewish approaches to modern problems. While many of the topics will be set, there will be an opportunity for students to suggest some topics of special interest to them.
Our Confirmation service is scheduled for the eve of Shavuot, which falls on Tuesday, May 30th, 2017. This service will be created and conducted by the confirmands, and will be followed by a festive reception. If there is interest from students and parents, we may propose a Confirmation class trip out of town, either to New York or Washington, DC.
The format of the class is as follows:
Dinner 6:00-6:30 pm
Class 6:30 pm-8:00 pm.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and feedback in the coming months as we refine our plans for the class.
I am looking forward to getting to know the students and their families, and to having an in-depth experience of study and conversation with the participants.
Have a great summer, Go Red Sox and Shalom,
Rabbi David Kudan
P.S. Please feel free to text, email, call, FB me with any feedback, suggestions, complaints, interesting articles, Utube videos or cartoons for me or to share with the class. firstname.lastname@example.org, cell: 617-877-3818. DBK