How to manage the process with grace, joy and good sense.
A practical guide that gives parents and teens the "how-to" information they need to navigate the bar/bat mitzvah process and grow as a family through this experience. For the first time in one book, everyone directly involved offers practical insights into how the process can be made easier and more enjoyable for all. Rabbis, cantors and Jewish educators from the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements, parents, and even teens speak from their own experience.
What’s it all about?
Preparation for Parent and Child
Tutoring, stress, expectations, enjoyment, planning for children with special needs.
Negotiating the ceremony and celebration
Designing a creative service, heightening the spiritual exercise, special issues related to divorced and interfaith families, planning a party that neither breaks the bank nor detracts from the inherent spirituality of the event.
"Out of her vast experience as Cantor and educator, Leneman has written an important guide that strengthens and solidifies the family through the wisdom and warmth of Judaism."
—Rabbi Harold Schulweis, Valley Beth Shalom, Encino, California
“Inspires, challenges, comforts and guides parents as the mutli-faceted bar/bat mitzvah process enters their lives.”
—Dr. Jeffrey Schein, National Education Director, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
Cantor Helen Leneman’s specialty is bar/bat mitzvah education. She has worked as a cantor and a b’nai mitzvah teacher in Los Angeles, Baltimore, and the greater Washington, DC, area. For several years she chaired the B’nai Mitzvah Educators Network of CAJE. The Network has over 300 members in the U.S. and abroad. She has a B.A. from UCLA and an M.A. in Judaic studies from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, and studied cantorial liturgy with cantors Allan Michelson (z”l) and William Sharlin. She is the author of Bar/Bat Mitzvah Education: A Sourcebook. She is an associate member of the American Conference of Cantors, and a member of the Society of Biblical Literature. Cantor Leneman directs an outreach program for unaffiliated families who wish to celebrate their children’s becoming bar or bat mitzvah. She lives with her family in Rockville, Maryland.