Relax there bucko. This has nothing to do with Theology


For my barmitzvah, the most action I got was two slow dances with Michelle B_ and Ilana D_. Man times sure have changed. So much so that according to Shmuel Rosner at the Jerusalem Post, in an article about err… bar mitzvah blowjobs, even the Hadassah ladies have noticed:

These questions came to mind recently when a woman in her seventies began sharing her concern with me about the custom in her granddaughter’s prep school; Jewish girls were giving Jewish boys blowjobs as bar mitzvah presents! Presumably because they’ve already got everything else… I couldn’t believe my ears. But then she told me that this practice is so rampant that the Reform Jewish movement has taken it on as a national policy concern.

Shulamit Reinharz, founder and codirector of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute made these observations in 614 Magazine while also noting the concerns expressed about this matter by Rabbi Eric Yoffie, head of the Reform Jewish movement.

I personally think this is somewhat sensationalized. I doubt that there are lines of girls waiting to administer oral sex to lucky bar mitzvah boys at the back of the temple. I mean we’re talking 12 and 13 year olds here. I call bullshit unless someone has something better to back it up then the cited 2003 Lillith article and the 2006 article in the Atlantic that stated “No one is suggesting, even for a moment, that Jewish teens are leading the oral sex revolution. But they may have earlier and more frequent opportunities for sexual contact in a supercharged social milieu than their non-Jewish peers.”

I mean seriously. I love the Hadassah ladies and all but their observations on youth culture ought to be viewed as uh… less than authoritative.

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Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Having been to many of these Bar Mitzvahs I can attest to the truth of it. No really, it takes place right after the Conga line.

  • Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is not the same thing as the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. They are connected through the name, and there are some overlapping board members and founders, and both are obviously concerned with women’s issues. But from what I understand, the research institute is housed at and is academically responsible to Brandeis University. You can read more about the history of HBI here.

  • I must admit… having been to several Bar Mitzvot lately, IT IS TRUE. I have heard about it as well. But I did not know it was as rampant as the story reports

  • Maybe someone should do a story on the RAINBOW parties at Camp Ramah, Camp Harlem, NCSY Israel tours, etc. 🙂

  • Yes this is true and not sensationalized at all. Just a couple of years ago I got it from one of the horses’ mouths (no pun intended), that this indeed has been going on. Apparently, girls each buy different coloured lipsticks and crawl under the table and give the boys a bj. The boys then know from the colours who the girl was.

  • You mean 13 year old boys can get girls to put on lipstick and crawl around under tables giving anonymous head to be later identified by colours? Muffti is amazed people aren’t taking classes on picking up members of the fairer sex from them…

    Seriously, though, Muffti doesn’t really know why this is surprising of shocking. Sexuality has clearly pushed its way down the age line but, like it or not, so has the puberty. That’s just the way it goes so you can sit around being shocked by it, or be glad that these little punks haven’t discovered the joys and dangers of intercourse and try to keep ’em safe as you can.

  • Pretty silly; has anybody who believes this to actually be taking place ever given or received head? C’mon now, let’s get technical. It’s just as incredulous as all those stories in which people boast about having had full intercourse in public without anybody noticing. Either was the sex nothing worth mentioning at all, rather something to be ashamed of, or it didn’t take place.

    That’s what I all too often see working with adolescents; they’ll boast about their experiences, but when you get to the details, you pretty soon see that they don’t have the slightest clue as to what they are talking about. Much of their “experience” is based on hear-say.

    Yet, there has been an increased degree of sexualisation throughout the general public and common media. Those people that have nothing to show for themselves are easily tempted to link their self-esteem and self-assessed value to sexual performance, and that kind of attitude is handed down to their offspring. Parental influence has shown to be of great influence, not only in my professional experience but those of others working with youths and adolescents as well as in case studies on the matter. So let’s not feign surprise here; children’s behaviour all too often mirrors that of their role models / caregivers. Just that in the case with children, they are not necessarily fully aware of the implications and consequences of their actions and force themselves into sexual activity remote from any positive emotions; basically, as I told CK in a private conversation yesterday, those kids are raping themselves.

    I agree with Muffti that physically, puberty kicks in at a younger age these days than in the generation of the parents of those kids (I recall our biology book during sixth grade said that menstruation commonly starts at age 16; none of the girls in our class hadn’t had their first period any later than age 12), but there’s also evidence galore that mental maturity has slowed down, which means we get the minds of kids in the bodies of adults.

  • At least Rosner is finally covering stories that he can handle. I have always felt as though he was a misplaced Hadassah magazine reporter. I hope that he continues with this type of work and stays away from reporting that matters.

  • So I guess anal fisting is now an acceptable wedding present?

    Call me old fashioned but I guess I still prefer a check.

  • This seems to definitely fall into the category of Oprah’s RAINBOW PARTY SCARE. Has it happened? Probably. Is it happening to a bunch of big-nosed, brace-faced, pimply bar mitzvah boys on a near-regular basis? Absolutely not. How do I know? Because it would be completely unfair, on a Jobian scale, for this to SUDDENLY start happening 8 years after my Bar Mitzvah.

    On a related note, I just invented the word Jobian, which means of or relating to Job.

    And these organizations that are sure to go up in arms about this – Hadassah, BBYO, NFTY, any youth movement really – are so hypocritical. They push and push Jewish “social” gatherings and then feign shock when it results in sex. The Jewish community is lucky that we don’t have the Pope dictating prevention methods or else we’d have a lot more pregnant teens in the community. And here, let me feign shock at the JPost to pinning this on the Reform community.

    • To give some critical background on the Rainbow Party Wes mentioned: an enlightening article on ReasonOnline.

      More bluntly put than in the article, it appears prude-to-the-ears respectively hostile-towards-[male]sexuality feminists are behind this craze. And here I was hoping the branch of castrative feminism had died out… So we get another urban legend passed around as journalism, added some particular cultural flavour to give it credibility.

  • Its all those energy drinks that kids drink, makes them grow up faster.

    What I wouldn’t do to be transported back in time and trade in all of the copies of Great Jews in Sports for a couple of blowjobs.

    Maybe the rabbis will start giving blowjob classes to bat miztvah girls?

  • This happens a lot more often than all you naysayers would care to believe. I’m just surprised it had to be the Hadassah ladies picking it up before anyone else.

  • I’ve heard that blowjobs require a certain level of finesse and sensitivity. Where’s a 12-13 year old girl…

    Oh jeez. This is too gross to even contemplate. And then there’s braces to consider too. They should hold off until they are at least 15. And if you’re Haredi, 16 when you’re married.

  • Just thought about this:

    The head-giving Bat Mitzvahs of today are the Hadassah ladies of tomorrow, and so the great wheel of time turns…

  • You expect this kind of thing from Reform Jews, Unitarians, and their ilk.

  • i heard a girl i knew gave someone a BJ at her own bat mitzvah a few years back in middle school, but all the other JAPs denounced her as a ho. this leads me to believe they didn’t partake in such oral activities at their own coming of age ceremonies…

  • Oh! To be young again!

    No, really, this is pretty upsetting. I wonder how much of this is a Jewish Bar-Mitzvah related thing and how much it’s a function of what’s going on amongst 13 year olds across the board.

  • In my area of research, we found that rainbow parties are greatly exaggerated, like Froylein has said. They seem like they are everywhere, because the media won’t let the story die. Much like the story of “sexting” (using cell phones to set erotic messages or pictures).

    No body freak out and worry about your children getting syphillis at their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. Most kids aren’t doing it, and you can prevent your kids from doing it if you talk to them.

    Tom Morrissey, what do you have against Unitarians?

  • hahha…nice one Sarke. CK, you know well that braces don’t make a difference – they are on the front of the teeth generally and if a girl is mashing the front of her teeth into you, well, Muffti thinks that probably instantly qualifies it as non-blowjob but something else entirely…As for the realism involved in such things, Muffti doesn’t find it unrealistic that a blowjob at the age of barmitzvah would last say about -3 seconds – not so unrealistic.

  • Yes, kids today are far more sexually aware than kids were even 10 years ago. And there might even be some oral sex happening at a b’nai mitzvah party here and there. But the only thing really widespread about this practice is how many people have heard of it. Like most urban legends, there are a handful of folks in this discussion who claim to have firsthand knowledge of it being true, but I challenge all of you to speak directly with even one kid who supposedly did this, and I’ll bet you’ll have a hard time finding one. Or prove me wrong.