The ritual of Confirmation was created by the Reform Movement in 19th century Germany as a way to “confirm” Jewish identity in young people. At that time, the only Jewish coming-of-age ceremony was Bar Mitzvah – a ceremony in which 13 year old males engaged in the ritual act of reading Torah and Haftarah at a public worship service. Confirmation, a ceremony open to both young men and young women, was instituted as a way for older teenagers to study together, have deep conversations about ethics and philosophy, and to bond as a group.
In keeping with our Reform Jewish heritage, Congregation Beth Am offers a Confirmation Program for all tenth graders. Our Confirmation students meet for one year, to engage in dialogue about their Jewish identity and the world in which they live. They engage in serious study with members of Beth Am’s clergy, participate in social justice projects and develop close relationships within the class. They celebrate their Jewish identity at the end of the year with either a Shabbat morning service or a Saturday evening program featuring their own music, spoken words, and dramatic creativity. Tenth graders are also encouraged to travel to Israel with NFTY the summer following Confirmation. Beth Am's Confirmands are proud of their developing Jewish identity and ready to confirm it!