Temple Emanuel was honored to bestow Confirmation on a group of 10th Graders who have been devoted in their Jewish studies. As part of the ceremony on May 12, 2017, the students wrote personal statements explaining what being Jewish means to them, describing their experience in Confirmation Class, and outlining the next steps of their Jewish Journey.
Here are a few lines from each statement, to help you get a sense of these wonderful young adults. Their future – and ours – is bright.
Confirmation helped me discover who I really am, but that’s not the main reason I come to temple every Wednesday. The reason I kept coming back, the thing that gave me the desire to learn all that I could about my Jewish life, was the people that I got to see whenever I came here. It was getting to get a better understanding with Rabbi Dean about the things that neither of us knew the answers to, and getting to see the people here that, without fail, brighten my day.
My Jewish Journey did not end after my Bat Mitzvah, and it will not end after Confirmation. I will continue to be involved with Temple Emanuel, NFTY, and Camp Stein. Judaism is extremely important to me. My Jewish identity will be strengthened during my travels in Israel this summer. After that, I will continue to study Hebrew, and I hope to be active in Hillel in college. Also, it is my dream to become a camp counselor at Camp Stein. Judaism is part of who I am and I look forward to continuing to learn and grow as a Jewish adult.
I will continue my Jewish studies past this class by continuing to go to youth group events and services. Because my faith is so important to me, I hope to pass it onto my children and give them an opportunity to be part of this wonderful community. I will continue on my family traditions of lighting our Shabbos Licht on Friday nights, going to High Holiday services, building a sukkah for Sukkot, and having seders on Pesach. I don’t know where I would be without Judaism.
This year at Temple, I felt like I learned more about what it is to be Jewish instead of just learning more stories from the Torah. Over all, this year of Religious School was my favorite. It made me feel involved in the discussions and I never got bored.
After Confirmation Class, I hope to continue my journey with Judaism. I will continue to come to temple once a week for services or simply to volunteer. In the future, I hope to go to the land of Israel and visit the many holy places there, to truly fulfill my identity as a Jew. As an adult, I will try to go to synagogue as often as I can, continue observing holidays, and celebrating with my family and the family to come.
Confirmation Class has been an educational, significant, and enlightening experience for me. It has created a pathway for me to further my Jewish education. It has helped and encouraged me to dig deeper into my Jewish identity. I have developed a new meaning for my life as a Jewish woman. Subsequent to this class, I will be able to apply Jewish values to my life in any circumstance, not only in synagogue. Confirmation Class has been the highlight of my week for the past year. It will be different not attending Hebrew School anymore, but I now feel prepared to further my Jewish education on my own. This class was worthwhile for me. I got to see my best friends once a week, and learn both with them and from them in a safe environment.
Who I am stems from my deep roots in Temple Emanuel, especially Confirmation Class. Confirmation Class was that special realization that I feel every teenager has where they realize, “wait a minute – I’m growing up! I can be my own person, think my own thoughts, and do my own things.” In this class, I found out my own personal opinion on God, and I will forever be grateful for that.
My experience in Confirmation Class was very excellent. I enjoyed getting to experience Judaism in a different way than I normally do. Everything I learned this year was more spiritual than in past years. I got to connect more with my peers in class. It was very fun. It was very worthwhile for me to be in this class because it has taught me a lot.
Confirmation Class was a way to learn about Judaism in relationship to the real world. It is a time to learn about everyday things and how Judaism relates to the things that happen in my life. Confirmation Class was one hundred percent worth it. It feels so great to have finally finished my Hebrew classes. It was fun and I got to understand more about how the Torah has a lot to say about pretty much everything. It was a time to get to know Jewish traditions and certain customs that I hadn’t learned before. It was such a great experience to get to know Rabbi Dean and my friends better, as well as myself and my religion.