1. Take a quiz with your tutee and see how your results compare. Use it to start a conversation about the student’s dreams for the future or about her/his role models.

  2. Interview each other about your expectations, thoughts, and memories of the bat/bar mitzvah experience. We have some questions you can start with. You can also ask your students to interview their parents about the bat/bar mitzvah experience. You can find a longer question guide for families in the Appendix of our family education Go & Learn activity on bat mitzvah and other evolving traditions.

  3. Plan an oral history project with family or community members. If several of your students do a project, the families can gather together and share what they have learned with one another. Read our tips for oral history projects and check out our Family History Tool Kit to get started.

  4. Have your tutee make a My Future Life profile to think about who she or he wants to be as an adult. Use it as a conversation starter for the two of you, or for the tutee to have with his/her parents.

  5. Select a profile from our list of Cool Jewish Women to read together at the beginning of each tutoring session.

  6. Start off your tutoring sessions by asking your tutee to write a letter to her/himself. Seal it and save it until after the bat/bar mitzvah date and then mail it. Some possible prompts could be:
    • What are you most excited about for your bat/bat mitzvah?
    • What are you nervous about?
    • How do you think your life will be different after your bat/bar mitzvah?

    (If your student has an account on MBMS, she could write the letter in her online journal to revisit later.)

  7. Search JWA’s This Week in History feature using students’ birthdays or bat/bar mitzvah dates. Choose an entry, read it together, and then discuss how it relates to themes from the torah portion or to the students’ life.
    • What did you learn from reading this that you didn’t know before?
    • What advice do you think this person would give to a bat or bar mitzvah student like yourself?

  8. Ask your student to conduct a survey by calling or emailing friends and family members of different ages/backgrounds. Have them collect responses to one or both of the following questions:
    • Why do you think the Jewish tradition recognizes people as adults at this age? Do you agree? Why or why not?
    • Do you think it’s important to mark the transition of bat/bar mitzvah? Why or why not? What does it mean to you? (Could also add a question that addresses the newness of the bat mitzvah: Do you think this is a meaningful innovation and opportunity for girls? Why or why not?)