About Confirmation at Beth Or


The ceremony of Confirmation was adopted by Reform Jews in Germany in the early nineteenth century. Held at the end of a prescribed course of study, its purpose was to 'confirm' the young person in his or her acceptance of the major doctrines of the Jewish faith.

Reform Jews see Confirmation as a useful supplement to Bar/Bat Mitzvah, which continues to center upon the attainment of ritual proficiency: reading from the Torah and leading the service. Confirmation, by contrast, stresses a general knowledge of Judaism, which is as necessary as Hebraic and liturgical skills to the full education of the Jewish person. Because it takes place at a later age than Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Confirmation allows the young adult to express a more mature understanding and acceptance of his or her responsibilities as a Jew." (Mark Washovsky, pp. 152-3 in Jewish Living, UAHC Press, 2001)

At Congregation Beth Or, we take tremendous pride in the success of our Academy and Confirmation programs, culminating in the 10th grade with the ceremony of Confirmation. This ceremony is held on Erev Shavuot - the holiday of receiving the Torah. Taught by Rabbi Marx and Rabbi Gerber, this program is designed to foster in our young people an inquisitive and critical eye toward Jewish tradition, a thirst for lifelong learning, and a desire to define more clearly and maturely the role that Judaism plays in the individual life of each student. Through a combination of small-group discussions, full-class presentations, field-trips and special experiences (including Washington, D.C., Jewish New York, and a trip to Israel), this year of study is filled with learning and fun. As is the case with bar- or bat-mitzvah, this is one more milestone along the journey of life-long Jewish learning.

For questions about your child's Confirmation experience, please contact Aaron Nielsenshultz, our Director of Religious School at [email protected] . We also offer confirmation classes for adults though Beth Or's Lifelong Learning program. Contact Cantor Green for more information.