Confirmation is an age-based coming of age ritual that occurs in our synagogue when a child is sixteen or in the tenth grade. Confirmation was originally developed by the Reform movement, which scorned the idea that a thirteen year-old child was an adult and was not mature enough to take on Adult Responsibilities in the Jewish community. The early “Reformers” replaced the Bar Mitzvah with a confirmation ceremony, after the child had studied for an additional three years beyond the age of thirteen. However, due to the overwhelming popularity of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah, the Reform movement has revived the practice.
A Confirmation ceremony is traditionally held on the beautiful Jewish festival of Shavuot. Today our students become both a Bar/Bat Mitzvah and are confirmed. At thirteen they begin to take on adult responsibilities in the Jewish community and, at age sixteen, they “confirm” their faith in Judaism and in the Jewish People.