Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sydney Labombarda's Confirmation Speech

Another of our religious school students participating in our June 7th Confirmation ceremony, in conjunction with the festival of Shavuot, was Sydney Labombarda.  Here now is Sydney's Confirmation speech:

On March 8, 2008, many of you sitting here thought that I was ending my Jewish education when I was called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah.  In fact, on that date, I decided to continue my studies in order to become a responsible adult in the Jewish Community.  In order to do so, for the past three years, I have been attending confirmation class.  In confirmation class, we studied how issues that the youth of today are facing are viewed by the Jewish community based on the Talmud as well as Rabbinic texts. We also learned how our faith and our personal beliefs influence the choices we make when faced with tough decisions. By applying what we learned in confirmation class, we can become more responsible teenagers. Confirmation class gave all the students attending a safe-haven to discuss our views on topics that varied from cross-dressing and tattoos and piercing, to controversial and eye-opening discussions such as online harassment and life after death. By attending confirmation class, I was able to think freely as a Jewish adult and make better decisions in my life.  

On Shavuot, students who have completed confirmation class become confirmed members of the Jewish community.  This ceremony is held on this holiday, because Shavuot is when   G-d gave the Ten Commandments, his rules for society, to the Jewish community.  It is also when Jews around the world, read from the Book of Ruth, from the sacred scrolls.  What makes confirmation important to me is, unlike my Bat Mitzvah, when I, as an individual, became a daughter of the Torah, the completion of confirmation affirms my beliefs and faith in my Jewish community.  Unlike my Bat Mitzvah, where I was up here alone, as an individual, I am up here today, with Hannah.  We stand before you, as part of the community, like Ruth was part of her community when she stood by Naomi, like the Israelites stood at the foot of Mount Sinai when they received G-d’s Commandments.  We stand here now able to fully apply all that we have learned in class, all that we have learned from the Commandments, and all that we have learned from our families to our lives so that we can continue to be responsible, respectable and productive members of both our Jewish community as well as our home community.  

Amen, Sydney, Amen!  And on behalf of Congregation Adas Emuno, a hearty congratulations to you and your family!

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