The celebration of life-cycle events that transcend everyday living are one of the experiences that engender spirituality. In the Jewish religion a bar or bat mitzvah ceremony is the site of passage from childhood towards adulthood. Twenty-one youngsters with moderate and severe disabilities who attend two special education schools in Israel participated in group bar/bat mitzvah ceremonies. Children were observed during the six-month learning process and at the ceremony itself. Parents and school staff were interviewed as well. This study describes spiritual dimensions of the bar/bat mitzvah experience that were identified and shows that the youngsters could both express their own spirituality and impact the spirituality of others.

Author(s): Gila Vogel and Shunit Reiter

Journal: Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities

Date: 2003

Volume: 38

Issue: 3

Pages: 314-322


Databased: Yes

Disabilities: Developmental Disability

Categories: Individuals with disabilities