In preparing for a bar or bat mitzvah, a young person is preparing to become an adult in the eyes of the Jewish community. What does it mean to be an adult? What responsibilities are involved? These are important questions to consider while embarking on the journey towards coming of age. The Museum offers a special tour and curriculum for bar and bat mitzvah students to discuss these questions.

Coming of Age During the Holocaust, Coming of Age Now

Coming of Age Now, Coming Age in the Holocaust Multimedia Website
Discover this free, multimedia website that helps bar and bat mitzvah-age students learn about the Holocaust from the stories of young people who survived. Through online discussions and engaging activities, students gain a personal connection to history and explore issues of ethics and personal responsibility. The site integrates 13 first-person accounts of Holocaust survivors told through video, narratives, and primary documents. These are accompanied by writing, history, and geography activities; primary sources and artifacts for interpretation; online discussions; and suggested research projects.

Visit the website.

For more information about Coming of Age, contact Dr. Paul Radensky, Museum Educator for Jewish Schools, at 646.437.4310 or pradensky@mjhnyc.org.

Coming of Age in the Holocaust, Coming of Age Now is a project of the Museum in New York in collaboration with Yad LaYeled - The Ghetto Fighters' Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Heritage Museum in Israel, made possible by a generous grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany: The Rabbi Israel Miller Fund for Shoah Research, Documentation and Education.

The Auschwitz Jewish Center B'nai Mitzvah Program

Educators, families, and students can add another layer of significance to one of the most important days in a Jewish child's life. The AJC B'nai Mitzvah Program invites Bar and Bat Mitzvah students to share their simcha with a child from Oświęcim (the town the Germans called Auschwitz) who perished in the Holocaust or who was unable to commemorate this milestone because of the war. Bar or Bat Mitzvah students will receive curriculum kits with background information about a child and his or her life before the war, as well as questions and activities designed to help students to reflect on Jewish life, the Holocaust, and the milestone they are reaching in their own lives.

For more information, contact Yael Friedman at 646.437.4276 or yfriedman@mjhnyc.org.


TOP: Bar mitzvah boys in the children's home of the Eclaireurs Israelites de France (French Jewish Scouts), Moissac, 1940-1941.  Collection of Jacques Heller (1991.F.381).

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