Walking down the hall of our Temple House you will see pictures representing the many generations of Confirmation classes at Temple Isaiah. Confirmation was introduced into the Jewish life cycle by 19th century Reform Judaism. It was the feeling of the earlier reformers that the age of Bar Mitzvah was not appropriate for young men to make any serious kind of commitment to continued Jewish practice and faith. Confirmation, not burdened by tradition could include young women as well as men. In the mid-20th century, when Bar Mitzvah returned to our movement, this time accompanied by Bat Mitzvah, Confirmation at the end of tenth grade remained as a next step in the process of Jewish growth.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah is the individual child stepping forward into the world of mitzvot – of embracing the opportunity to become a link in the chain of tradition. Confirmation is an opportunity for affirming (maybe this would be a better word to name our ceremony!) as a group the values of communal living within Jewish tradition. During the Confirmation year (10th grade), students study with Rabbis Miller and Graetz and strengthen their bond as a class. The Confirmation class meets on Wednesday nights as part of Noar Night. Visit our Noar Night page for information about the Confirmation Program.
Confirmation is by no means the final step. When we bless our teens on that day of celebration we are imagining them moving on to a larger community of teens who will experience Jewish peoplehood in the State of Israel and continued Jewish growth in our 11th & 12th grade program. Each step, from Consecration to Bar/Bat Mitzvah and Confirmation reinforces the notion that life long Jewish study is something to be cherished.