Gesharim prepares youngsters in disadvantaged neighborhoods – who would not normally do so – to prepare for and celebrate their Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
Groups of boys and girls, respectively, participate in an informal 20-session, structured “course” incorporating Jewish identity, basic concepts in Judaism, maturation, tolerance, responsibility towards themselves, family, and community, and appropriate Mitzvot of Jewish observance. In co-operation with the parents and local schools, participants prepare for the final ceremony in Jerusalem or Massada,the theme of which is Unity.
The project has several unique characteristics, including:
- Providing young people the opportunity to explore the meaning and significance of their “Jewish rite of passage.”
- Providing young people with a positive attitude to their Jewish heritage and their community.
- Promoting self-worth and a sense of responsibility for their actions.
- Enhancing tolerance, community pride, and successful integration.
- Bridging the gap between parents and their children
A culminating end of year Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration enables families to celebrate as proud members of the community. The project also serves as an entrée into further youth programming for most of the children who would not have previously considered joining a youth group.
Nahariya, Bet Shemesh, Netanya, Maale Adumim, Rechovot, Holon, Kiryat Gat and Sderot
This program is assisted by grants from the Jewish Agency For Israel