Marking Jewish time and life milestones with rituals is a continuously evolving and dynamic process, and when our students have an authentic understanding of life cycle customs, rituals and their meanings, the relevance of these sacred moments is elevated. To teach about rites of passage in ways that will resonate with our students, we must understand these events through a contemporary lens. In this course, we will explore both traditional and innovative ways of celebrating, mourning, and marking time throughout a Jewish life. The four sessions will include the following topics: Birth: More Than Just a Bris; B’nai Mitzvah: Coming of Age in the 21st Century; Marriage: Expanding Definitions of Tradition; Death and Mourning: Kaddish and Beyond.
At the conclusion of each course, participants will be able to:
- Identify new and evolving customs for marking Jewish births
- Demonstrate understanding of the changing dynamics of the b’nai mitzvah in the 21st century
- Explain how changing definitions of marriage have made an impact on Jewish tradition
- List and explain Jewish death and mourning customs and identify new rituals
- Explain and teach the importance of Jewish life cycle experiences through a modern lens