The vitality of Judaism has always depended on a simple but profound idea: that in every generation, parents will transmit the tradition to their children. Every Jewish child is precious; each is a guarantor that the chain of Torah will endure for another generation. At Beth Am, we provide strong support for parents to be the primary teachers of their children. We also offer rich educational experiences for children, starting with infants and toddlers and extending through the high school years.
Throughout the ages, our people have created ways to imbue the start of Jewish education with special meaning. For example, when they began to learn the Hebrew alphabet, young children would receive a taste of honey, or cookies or candy in the shape of the Hebrew letters, so they would associate the sweet taste with Jewish learning.
At Beth Am, we mark the entrance of young children into Jewish education with a special ceremony called Consecration (meaning “dedication to a sacred purpose”). Our children are brought to the Sanctuary, welcomed onto the bima and blessed by our clergy in the presence of their parents, grandparents and the congregation. They also receive a special gift to help them remember this day of celebration!