When Dr. Edward Phillips set out to create the first English-language exhibit on the Nazi persecution of homosexuals, opening Sunday at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, information proved elusive.
Now that our youngest is a freshman in college, and most of our friends' kids are well-beyond bar and bat mitzvah age, I feel liberated to speak out: our bar mitzvah culture is out of control. It is an unnecessary, extravagant, showy, inappropriate expenditure, which is done under peer expectation and pressure. It is an embarrassment to the Jewish people.
What does this bar mitzvah overkill say about us? What are our children learning from the bar and bat mitzvah experience? What are they ingesting about the values of Judaism and the Jewish people?