Life Cycle

Bar mitzvah of Sidney Unobskey, Calais, ca. 1950

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Growing up means assuming responsibility for yourself and your actions. Jewish coming of age rituals like bar mitzvahs and confirmation ask youth to do just that by becoming accountable for and devoted to their religious practice. In assuming this responsibility, these youth ensure the continuation of the faith. Bar mitzvah ceremonies for boys and, later, bat mitzvah ceremonies for girls became the most important celebration of Jewish life in Maine.

Courtesy of Amy Waterman