As a mother of four daughters, I‘ll be the first to admit I‘ve had little exposure to raising boys. I’ve been heavily involved with Twelve for the last four years, while Thirteen has been superbly led by its own dedicated team. With the merging of our teams for 2019 to streamline our programs, I’m working on gaining a better understanding of the barmitzvah experience, especially from a parent’s perspective.
That’s why I was surprised and delighted to hear the thoughts of a mother from our 2018 Thirteen cohort. She raised something I had never considered and it made me even prouder of our program. At a recent evening for 2019 families, Shoshi Vorcheimer eloquently shared how Thirteen created a special bond for her and her son that she couldn’t find anywhere else.
Shoshi, mum of Aba, says:
“I felt, as a mother of a bar-mitzvah boy, that I was excluded from his barmitzvah journey, which is quite male-centric. I enjoyed having the protected time carved out each month, when we could experience something new and different together and it resulted in the creation of a new dimension to our relationship.
After each session, where we learned about people who needed help or we encountered a new perspective on an issue impacting society, we got to drive home together and discuss our experience. Apart from learning how much we can help others and beyond experiencing gratitude and empathy, my relationship with my son has grown to the extent that we can seamlessly move into conversations about 'big' issues in life in a respectful and compassionate manner. I am enjoying this aspect of our relationship that the Thirteen program facilitated.”
Twelve and Thirteen are about many things. Giving. Kindness. Growth. Responsibility. Community. But also? It’s about parent AND child being equal participants, sharing the most unique journey and making memories together to last a lifetime.