May 30, 2024
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May 30, 2024
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JKHA Students Get a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Re-Do

Seventh and eighth graders at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy enjoyed a bar and bat mitzvah extravaganza with their grades. The day was a chance for them to collectively celebrate the smachot they didn’t celebrate in person this last year.

Students began the program watching a compilation video where they each described the mitzvah that they chose to “make their own” and master. Each grade dressed and celebrated simcha-style with a bar and bat mitzvah celebration in the outdoor recreation space led by the Schnitzel Brothers. With a catered meal, music, dancing and games, it was a chance for the students to celebrate this milestone together.

Eighth graders heard from Rabbi Chaim Marcus of Congregation Israel in Springfield, and seventh graders from Rabbi E. Samuel Klibanoff of Etz Chaim in Livingston, who delivered meaningful remarks to add to the special feel of the day. Each grade followed their separate celebrations with afternoon trips to local recreation spots—the eighth graders headed to Funplex, while the seventh graders enjoyed time at Sky Zone.

Maximizing the opportunity for their milestone time this year, the sixth-grade girls took part in a bat mitzvah-focused program after school. The programming focused on helping the girls transition into the next phase of their lives, recognizing the physical, emotional and religious changes they are experiencing. Activities included a project about where they come from and their foundations and influences; round-robin learning concentrating on female role models in Tanach; a keepsake exercise in which students will create a #WhoIWantToBe inspiration collage or mission statement of the type of person they want to be; and a simcha dancing session led by Morah Hertzberg. The program concluded with a dessert reception.

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