Chai Mitzvah groups can be formed at any time, but each month every participant is focusing on
the same topic for group study, creating a global conversation and linking individuals across the
Jewish world together.
Our sourcebooks are designed by leading Jewish educators to be flexible and accessible to
everyone. The texts are both traditional and contemporary, in Hebrew and English. There are
additional materials for adults, teens, and family education. In addition, there are overlays focusing on Business Ethics, and issues of special interest, such as Women of Reform Judaism.
For information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Download our Celebration Guide - a .pdf brochure that was used at the end-of year ceremony of a Chai Mitzvah Group in Michigan. It shows the choices participants made for their independent pieces. Looking at this brochure might make it easier for participants to see how the "Jewish Bucket List" works.
Monthly Topic Soucebooks
October: Adult Rites of Passage
Rites of passage mark transitions between different stages of life. Jewish tradition wisely understands that rites of passage, even those that are filled with joy, can be both exhilarating and disorienting. Explore rites of passage through this lens.
The word tzedakah comes from the Hebrew word for “justice, righteousness,” Jewish law meets the needs of the poor and at the same time protects their dignity. Consider the priorities in Jewish texts for giving food, clothing, shelter, and medicine to fulfill the mitzvah of saving lives and preserving health.
December: Individual & Community
Jewish tradition discusses many different aspects of the important relationship between the individual and the community. Chai Mitzvah specifically selected the concept of tochecha (public rapprochement, offering criticism) as the focus of this topic. How do we talk to another person about his/her behavior in a way that will make for a positive behavior change? 4Judaism provides us with guidance about how to disagree and correct others in ways that move our relationships and our community forward.
January: Interpersonal Relationships
Interpersonal relationships between parents, children, and friends are complex and evolving, involving tensions around favoritism, competition for attention, and tensions between generations. The sourcebook presents texts that examine these relationships..
February: Mindfulness/Conscious Living
Sometimes we need to turn off our “autopilot”.This session focuses on what it means to live a mindful/conscious life.,. We will look at some of the tools Judaism provides to help us be more aware of the small details of our daily lives, and be more grateful for our everyday blessings.
March: Adding New Insights and Meaning to the Passover Seder
Much of our preparation for Passover focuses on preparing our homes and cooking food. But, we can also prepare our hearts and minds. New symbols and rituals can deepen the meanings of the traditional Seder symbols for us.
April: Israel and the Jewish Spirit
The land of Israel is more than a physical location — it is the Jewish homeland. There is a biblical connection between Jewish people and the land of Israel. Jewish people live all over the world, and the relationship between individual Jewish people and Israel is complex. This topic explores that relationship.
May: Gratitude/Modim Anachnu Lach
Psychological studies have shown that feeling and expressing gratitude are important components of a happy, balanced life. There are elements in Jewish tradition that can help us to be aware of our blessings and to express gratitude. Expressing gratitude does not mean ignoring that there is pain and hardship in the world. It means making a daily effort to see that along with the difficulty, there is also good in life that is worth celebrating.
June: Judaism and the Environment
Rabbi Lawrence Troster, an important contemporary Jewish eco-theologian, teaches that one of the most fundamental concepts in Judaism is that God created the universe for us, but God has ownership over creation. For this reason, he states, we are responsible to care for the world as one would treat a gift, or a loan, from God.
A New Addition to the Chai Mitzvah Materials
This personal reflection book is a great way to keep track of the Jewish Bucket List
throughout the year of doing Chai Mitzvah.
Currently our curriculum guides are inclusive of months October thru June. Later this year, we will be introducing the curriculum guides for months July, August and September.
Each of the Chai Mitzvah topics can be studied from multiple perspectives, called “overlays.” We offer overlays in Family Education, Teen Programming, Business Ethics, the Environment, and Chai Mitzvah from a Reform perspective. Samples are available.