Noting that Judaism does not have a specific ceremony to mark the milestone of high school graduation, Rabbi David Kornberg and Youth Director Charlene Naft of Congregation Beth Am in Del Mar, decided to create one.
On May 25, graduating seniors and their families were honored at a gathering at the synagogue, 5050 Del Mar Heights Road. During the ceremony, parents acknowledged the end of one phase of their children's lives and the beginning of another. Parents lit their graduates' shavdallah candle that denotes separation. The students were also given a mezzuzah for their dorm room doors, the Traveler's Prayer, and a compass so they can always find their way home.
This very moving and meaningful ceremony marked a new tradition for Congregation Beth Am. The congregation is very proud of its graduates — all of whom will attend college in the fall.
For information about programs at Congregation Beth Am, call (858) 481-8454 or visit
— Debra Clemen