Integration into the Group and Sacred Uniqueness; An Analysis of Adult Bat Mitzvah

Publication Date: January 1986

Publisher: Association for the Sociology of Religion

Author(s): Stuart Schoenfeld

Research Area: Culture and religion

Keywords: American Jews; Adult education; Jewish identification

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


In the analysis that follows, an innovative Jewish ritual - an adult bat mitzvah - is interpreted as one which combines themes of integration into a group and individual autonomy. The analysis is made complex by the fact that the innovative ritual is an adaptation of a well-established conventional pattern of bar and bat mitzvah at the age of thirteen. The conventional pattern is described first in order that the differences between it and the innovative ritual will be clear.