Bar mitzvah invitation, Portland, 1957Item 53998 info
Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh
For the Jewish community, the transition from being a child to being an adult comes in the form of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. The ritual formally and publicly recognizes a Jewish youth's obligation to uphold Jewish law at the age of 12 for girls and 13 for boys. A great deal of study and preparation is necessary in order to become Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
This tradition is one of the most significant means of maintaining Jewish identity in small-town Maine, because preparations for the ceremony facilitate understanding of the religious faith and community.
This ceremony is also the point at which Jews become adults, accepting the responsibilities of upholding the values and laws of the faith, making it an integral component of ensuring that the religious community has a future.