Rabbinic Reflection: Rabbi Bill Tepper
Learning and Growing: The Confirmation Experience at Holy Blossom Temple
Among the most gratifying of my family’s moments was when our son Max was Confirmed at Rockdale Temple in Cincinnati. In his class portrait, Max and his classmates proudly hold wheat sheaves, symbolic of the Shavuot Festival that – with its celebration of receiving the Torah – is associated with the Confirmation experience.
In many Jewish houses of worship, Confirmation Class portraits adorn the walls. Rows of adolescents attired in ceremonial robes, surrounding the rabbis and teachers who guided them towards Jewish adulthood.
Confirmation is about:
Continuity: Jewish continuity, and one’s learning.
Identity: cultivating a compassionate and inclusive view of the world.
Socialization: nurturing and establishing life-long relationships.
Leadership: developing the future leaders of our Jewish and larger communities.
Being a role model for others, both young and younger.
Achieving another valued milestone in our Jewish journey of life.
Pride: in one’s Judaism, communities, and oneself.
Here is what Holy Blossom’s 2021 Confirmands have to say:
I found Confirmation different than what I expected. Personally, Confirmation was about going more in-depth into Judaism and getting more one-on-one time with the rabbis. My favourite experience was when we asked the rabbi questions. I asked about how the afterlife was perceived in Judaism because I had never really heard it discussed before. I learned new perspectives I had never thought about.
Last year I took part in the Confirmation program at Holy Blossom. Becoming a Confirmand meant reaffirming my commitment to Judaism and reflecting on my previous Jewish education and how I want Judaism to play a part in my personal identity. Throughout the program, we reflected on what being Jewish means to us individually, and as a collective. My biggest takeaway was the importance of tzedakah and how I want to actively implement it into my life. Holy Blossom was able to host an online Confirmation service towards which each student was able to contribute. I am grateful that I was able to be Confirmed and highly recommend it, as it reconnected me to my Jewish identity and allowed me to create stronger bonds with my Jewish community.
Last year I had the pleasure of being Confirmed with my friends at Holy Blossom. While the experience was online, it was nonetheless enjoyable and rewarding. Confirmation allowed me to deepen my perception of my Jewish identity. I was able to learn from various staff, including Elana Lidsky, Cantor Rosen and Lisa Isen Baumal, Rabbi Helfman and Sophie Rivers. Confirmation also allowed me to form new friendships, and deepen those that I had known since Hebrew school. I am extremely grateful…
– Shoshana Iny
Though classes have begun, we welcome additional students to join this remarkable program in learning, growing, and socializing. Education Director Lisa Isen Baumal, Lead Teacher Elana Paice Lidsky, Cantor David Rosen and myself are assembling an engaging and dynamic series of learning experiences that will culminate in a joyous Confirmation Class ceremony at Holy Blossom on Shavuot.
Please reach out to us and discover more about Confirmation at Holy Blossom Temple.
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