Parent’s speech from a recent Bar Mitzvah
I would like to thank everyone, family and friends, for being here to celebrate the Bar-Mitzvah of our son Adam. I’d especially like to thank those most responsible for getting Adam ready for his big day, his teachers. To Deborah and Jeff, Scott, Melanie, Cheri, David, and Staci a very special thank you.
On this special day, and every day, Rhonda and I are thankful for being able to share in Adam’s life. To love and to guide him as he grows into the young man he is becoming today. The word I will use today to describe Adam is “proud”. We are proud of the person that he has become. Proud of his character, his compassion, his love of life, and his caring. This part was clearly indicated in his commitment to community service, and will continue next year when he joins the Community Service Club here at the shule. We are proud of the friend that he has become to many, of the little brother that he is to his sister Carly. Having coached him in hockey, I’m proud of the commitment and dedication he has shown to his teammates, and perhaps most proud that he is our son.
We are also proud that he has chosen to learn and understand his Jewish heritage. To learn what it means to be part of the Jewish people. There was a time, when Adam was younger, that he did not fully understand who he was. Rhonda and I were raised Jewish, and I had a Bar-Mitzvah. However, my mother’s parents were Catholic and as a child our family celebrated all holidays, not for their religious meanings, but for the importance of family. And our family continued that tradition. It wasn’t till Adam brought home a report that he had written in second grade where he wrote that his mother was Jewish and his father was not that we needed to educate him as to his Jewish roots.
We chose this shule because we felt it would be the perfect place for him not only to learn Hebrew and be Bar-Mitzvahed but to learn what it means to be Jewish. To learn about the history of the Jewish people, their struggles and their triumphs. To learn about their culture and to understand what the Jewish people went through so that he could be here today. I also love that he learns about the issues of today, not just with the Jewish people put with the struggles of all people around the world.
Mom, Carly, and I, along with all those here today, hope that you continue to grow and to have the strength to do all of the things that you are capable of doing. May you continue to be the person that you are now: loyal, honest, caring. May you never lose that passion for life, the desire to learn, and please, never lose that smile.
And finally, I struggled to find just the right words to some up my feelings for Adam. And then I realized that someone else already had. That someone was his 1st grade teacher, Mrs. McCord. She was his teacher for 6 months until she left for maternity leave. During the summer, Adam received a card from her. She thanked him for the gift that the class sent to her. She also wrote of how everyday she would come home and tell her husband about this boy Adam who brought a smile to her face every day. How he just loved to learn, loved to take everything in. She wrote how she told her husband that she wished that their child would be just like him. She concluded by saying that when she found out that they had a boy, she wanted to name him after Adam. And she did. There can be no greater compliment.
Adam, your mother and I wish you nothing but the best in your future. We know that what lies ahead for you will be extraordinary.