Confirmation studies teach young adult Jews that they are entering "a sacred community" in which they can question, challenge, and debate Jewish questions without being judged. The confirmation model also encourages youth to work together as a community to contribute to the world around them.
At TOR, our 10th grade students spend the year studying with Rabbi Rabishaw and exploring a broad range of issues that the kids face in our modern world and the ways that they can practice the principles of Judaism in their everyday lives.
The year culminates with the class leading the Shavuot service in the spring and sharing some of their thoughts with the congregation. Rabbi Rabishaw says that he learned long ago to set the students free and let them talk about whatever they choose for their "speeches" because, without any adult guidance, these 15- and 16-year-olds are already thinking about pretty big stuff.
This last year our Confirmation Class inspired us all with their voices of commitment to Judaism and the depth of their thought about issues ranging from the future of Israel, the sacred treatment of death in our tradition, the moral choices we make as Jews, and even the very existence of Gd. They left no doubt that we are raising young adults of whom we can be enormously proud and tomorrow's leaders in whose hands we can trust our future.