Consecration generally takes place at the beginning of kindergarten, or whenever a child begins his or her Jewish education. The ceremony is often held as part of the Simchat Torah celebration, though some synagogues may hold it at other times of the year. This is a lovely and meaningful ceremony for children and families alike. A large talit (prayer shawl) may be held over the students while they sing a song or recite the Sh’ma (the declaration of Jewish faith). The children are blessed by the clergy and are often given a certificate and a miniature Torah. How wonderful to being a child’s Jewish education with a celebration.
In Reform synagogues, girls and boys mark symbolic entry into Jewish adulthood at age thirteen. The bar or bar mitzvah is usually celebrated on the Shabbat closest to the child’s thirteenth birthday. Congregations usually schedule these dates a couple of years in advance, giving the family plenty of time to plan for the day.
Depending on the congregation, boys and girls may conduct all or part of the service, read or chant the b’rachot over the Torah (an aliyah), read a section from the Torah portionfor that week, read or chant the b’rachot for the haftarah, read a section from the haftarah, and deliver a sermon.
Confirmation is a Reform-originated ceremony for boys and girls that is tied to the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. It constitutes an individual and group affirmation of commitment to the Jewish people. Confirmation, one of the “youngest” Jewish life cycle ceremonies, began less than 200 years ago