Suggestions to get rid of the one-on-one teaching of haftorot are quite misguided. (“Changing Up The Bar And Bat Mitzvah Experience,” April 20).
They project the years of vacuous or nonexistent parental (or even grandparental) Jewish upbringing onto the child’s few months of b’nai mitzvah training, and then look for “deep meaning” in a traditional rite of passage without a meaningful familial Jewish context. Eliminating the practice would simultaneously eliminate the child’s only experience of receiving a piece of authentic Jewish tradition by direct personal contact with an elder — the sine qua non of maintaining a religious tradition. If successfully executed and absorbed, this experience will remain with the child and will be a solid bridge to adult Jewish learning, much more so than the navel-gazing and class projects suggested as alternatives.
Jewish Community Center of Paramus Paramus, N.J.