Bar/Bat Mitzva Project

The Hineni Project is comprised of a series of booklets containing sources and activities, whose objective is to bring parents and their bat/bar mitzva aged children closer together, with an emphasis on developing a Jewish humanistic identity, in an attempt to enable the next generation to shape themselves into additional links in the chain of our heritage.

In the framework of these intimate parent-child study sessions, we invite the participants to discuss the various components of identity that connect us to our personal, social and communal identity. The program seeks to highlight, through an approach of respect for each person – no matter who he/she is – a dialogue of social responsibility which draws its sources from Judaism on the one hand and “Israeliness” on the other.

This series is geared for the age of transition from childhood to adulthood and aims to welcome the child into the world of adulthood through an honest, mutual dialogue with his/her parents about values, aspirations and hopes. In this series, we seek to give children and parents the opportunity to experience a chavruta-type experience in which, even if the parent fills the role of guide or mentor, opportunities will be created in the course of study, for the family members to share ideas on an equal and mutually-inspirational basis, with no distinctions on the basis of age, gender, or status. This experience will constitute a gateway for the child to the world into which he/she is being invited to enter and participate.

Structure of the Program

The program consists of ten sessions. Each session focuses on a defined topic and together they create a conceptual sequence. Nevertheless, the program is modular, and each unit also stands alone.  In that way, each parent/child pair can study the entire series in sequence, or alternatively, can select the topics they prefer to study in the order that they choose.

Schools and communities can organize bar/bat mitzva-year activities on the basis of the program, through inter-generational, family and communal study, which in the modular form, can climax with a day of experiential trips in the Jerusalem area and at the Hechal Shlomo Museum.

Each unit focuses on a social or identity-related topic beginning with biblical sources, continuing with rabbinic sources, and culminating with a variety of contemporary Israeli sources. In addition, each unit contains sources for enrichment related to a law from the Israeli legal system or a civic concept, with a quiz or game and a creative concluding activity.

The Project will also include:

  • A website to accompany the project with expansion on the topics studied, online lectures, as well as ideas for related educational trips and projects. The website will be geared for parents, teachers, schools and communities who are implementing the program.
  • Workshops for educational staff who are interested in an applied annual program within the school’s social education program relating to the bar/bat mitzvah year.
  • Special experiential days in the Jerusalem area and in the Hechal Shlomo Museum for schools that implement the program for their bar/bat mitzva classes.

Unit Topics

Target Population

The program is intended for a diverse population – religious, traditional and secular – and is fashioned for study in pairs or small groups.

  • Parents and children who are interested in studying together.
  • Schools seeking to incorporate the project into their bar/bat mitzva programs.
  • Communities and educational groups who are seeking meaningful and value-based programs for the bar/bat mitzva year.

All of the above can find what they are looking for in the Hineni Project.

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