Jewish Secular Community offers bar and bat mitzvah class

The Jewish Secular Community of Cleveland invites interfaith, humanistic and secular Jewish families to attend an open house on June 14 to learn more about the bar and bat mitzvah class being offered this fall.

The goal of the program is to connect b’nai mitzvah candidates—children ages 11½ to 14—to the 3,500-year-old traditions of Judaism, the history of Israel, and the vast array of Jewish activities and community services in Greater Cleveland, all presented in a nontheistic, humanistic manner.

The class aims to familiarize interfaith and secular Jewish children with their cultural heritage in a way that is comfortable for both parents and children. The curriculum includes Jewish history and customs, to give meaning to the holidays and life cycle events. The program focuses on the Jewish values of tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world).

The class will be small and personal, and limited to only seven students. Dani Copeland, a Cleveland Heights teacher, will lead the class, which will meet once a week for 30 weeks, beginning in October.

There is no requirement to learn Hebrew or Yiddish. The program will conclude with a festive coming-of-age ceremony.

For parents who are interested, an informational open house is set for Sunday, June 14, 10 a.m. to noon, at a private home in Cleveland Heights. Parents will have an opportunity to ask questions, get details about the program, and meet the teacher and educators who developed the program.

For more information, or to register for the June 14 open house, contact Lois Gross at 216-321-9284, Jim Mayer at 216-371-9937, or e-mail

John Klein

John Klein is a lifelong resident of the Heights and a member of the Jewish Secular Community, a humanistic group founded almost 50 years ago.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 4:10 PM, 05.28.2015