One of the most meaningful responsibilities I have is teaching our Confirmation students. Confirmation is a relatively new tradition that began in the late 1800s to honor young adults for their commitment to Jewish learning and community. Metaphorically, B’nai Mitzvah is getting your learner’s permit and Confirmation is receiving your driver’s license. Students put in many years of study and demonstrate a deeper, more meaningful understanding of Judaism. The Reform community chose to associate Confirmation with the holiday of Shavuot, as our children reaffirm their commitment to accepting the weight of the Torah and represent the first fruits of each year’s harvest to the community. (Learn more about Shavuot here.)
We have a remarkable class of Confirmation students this year. In fact, earlier this year, before the novel coronavirus hit the U.S., they suggested we continue meeting next year. While we have traditionally held Confirmation on Shavuot, I have chosen not to do so this year. We will postpone this event not because these students lack depth of knowledge or commitment to our community, but precisely the opposite. I want to offer them the honor of receiving Confirmation when they may safely do so before the ark in our sanctuary. We may still need to have that moment in an individual fashion with social distancing, but these remarkable youth are worthy of this special moment. I look forward to sharing more information about this opportunity in the fall. In the meantime, please join me and the rest of the worship team this Thursday night and Friday morning for our Festival Services and Yizkor.