My L’dor Vador Young Leaders program offers an opportunity to the youth of Beth Jacob Synagogue to assume a leadership role in services throughout the year. Young members of the community, primarily those who have already had a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, are trained – and encouraged – to lead various parts of the service.

The Bar or Bat Mitzvah should not mark the last time an individual is involved in synagogue life. Rather, it should mark the beginning of synagogue participation. This program specifically addresses this issue by asking B’nai Mitzvah to commit to specific tasks and specific dates in the year. It also gives them ownership of the service and provides them with a real – not merely symbolic – sense of accomplishment. Additionally, this active participation by our youth is both a source of pride and encouragement for older generations as well as an inspiration to their peers.

The L’dor Vador Young Leaders program is one that I take particular pride in as I have always sought ways to impart a passion for Judaism and synagogue life to the youth of my community.

Eyal Bitton