Things you need to know when preparing for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah:
- The service has many roles that can be played by family and friends. Some roles are appropriate for non-Jews. Some are not. Your temple should have a policy about this. Ask about this early in the planning process.
Things you need to know to celebrate Shabbat in the Reform tradition:
- The Friday evening meal is traditionally chicken, noodles, vegetables, and challah. This book has plenty of recipes to get you started: The Taste of Shabbos
- Grape juice can be substituted for wine. Kedem is a brand of Kosher grape juice.
- Shabbat candles must be left to burn until they burn out by themselves.
- It’s traditional for the women to light the candles and recite the blessings. (You can start with the blessing for lighting candles, the blessing over the wine, and the Motsi until you’re ready for more.)
- It’s customary to break off a piece of the challah, rather than cutting a slice for each person.
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Shabbat Blessings Over the Children
Things you need to know about conversion in the Reform movement:
- You will study with your rabbi for about a year. You may also take a conversion class with people from several different movements and synagogues. The rabbis from the various congregations may take turns leading these classes. It’s a good opportunity to discover and discuss the difference in observance by different movements.
- There is a lot to read and think about. Some of the books will be about conversion. Some will be about Judaism. There will be Jewish history and also at least a bit of Hebrew.