Rabbi Julie's Independent Projects

Bar and Bat Mitzvah Preparation

Rabbi Julie prepares people of all ages for Bar or Bat Mitzvah, tailoring the studies to the individual needs of learners.
People make independent arrangements with Rabbi Julie for studying and for their ceremony; these services are not sponsored by the congregation.

House of Study

For children aged 10 – 13 in the Philadelphia area, Rabbi Julie conducts a one-room-Jewish-schoolhouse, in her home in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, called House of Study.

House of Study was created more than twenty years ago to capture the joy of learning in Jewish community. Class is held on Sunday evenings three times a month. Together, participants create a community that offers an engaging peer group and a very personalized course of study.

Through songs, stories, lively discussion and dramatic enactment students learn Jewish values, history, traditional prayer and Torah. Younger students witness older students achieving and then eventually they become the models for new younger students; this replicates the multi-generational nature of Judaism. Rabbi Julie often works with an assistant, which allows the group to break into smaller sub-groups in creative ways. Students learn a lot, have fun and grow into a sense of Jewish mastery and meaning.

Students are prepared to be called to the Torah and to chant their Torah portions as part of their Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony. The focus is to celebrate growing up Jewish with learning designed to be meaningful and manageable for each individual.

"This class is so lively, personal, and participatory. My child never wants to miss it."

Some children come in with minimal Jewish background and others have been in Hebrew school for years. Through the use of CDs, and assignments tailored to each child, everyone moves at their own pace. Rabbi Julie is a master teacher with decades of experience teaching a wide range of learners.

Some families hire a tutor in addition to the class but most students are able to use the structure of the class and don’t need a tutor. (Some families choose one-on-one tutoring instead of the class.) Rabbi Julie accepts a very few students each year for private tutoring and can make referrals to other tutors if this is desired.

Families make private arrangements for the ceremony by renting synagogue or hotel or country club space or any other suitable space. Rabbi Julie brings the Torah scroll.

Please call or e-mail for more information:
Rabbi Julie
215-843-9592
References available upon request

Birthland Bar Mitzvah

Rabbi Julie works with adoptive families who have children from Central and South America, especially from Guatemala, in an exciting program that takes families and their friends to Guatemala for Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration.

Counseling With Soul

Counseling with Soul is Rabbi Julie’s counseling practice. She meets with individuals, couples and families at her office on City Line Ave. in Philadelphia. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) in addition to being a Rabbi. Julie helps people through difficult life transitions and has frequently worked with interfaith issues, parenting and relationship challenges, and on helping people build relationships based on love, understanding, and growth.

Insurance is not accepted directly but it is possible to receive a receipt that may help you obtain reimbursement from certain kinds of insurance.

Please call 215-843-9592, a confidential line, to make an appointment.

Rabbi Julie Greenberg

House of Study - A Typical Class

The evening usually starts with songs, a Jewish story or teaching or a moral dilemma. There is a semester-long theme such as Israel, Prophets, Tzedakah, Ancestors.

  • One semester the class studied Jewish teachings about generosity. We discussed the ethics of whether an organization should accept money from a thief who is a philanthropist, using various rabbinic teachings about money to form our opinions.
  • One semester the children re-enacted the World Zionist Congress deciding whether Israel or Uganda should be the homeland for the Jewish people.
  • One semester we took the Jewish story of Exodus and looked at other freedom struggles in the world through the lens of the greatest freedom story ever told.

Then the group breaks into two units with the assistant taking younger children while Rabbi Julie works with the Bar/Bat Mitzvah age group. Students have the option of learning to read Hebrew and learning Torah trop (the musical notation that tells how to chant the Torah.) There is lots of discussion about coming-of-age, growing not just into bigger bodies but into bigger inner selves. Everyone does a mitzvah project of their choosing.

Class ends with davennen (praying) together for the last 15 minutes. Students become familiar with key Jewish prayers and many students learn to co-lead the service. Throughout the year there are many happy holiday celebrations.

Children answer a Password as they exit, reviewing a key concept from the class.

In the Bar or Bat Mitzvah year there is homework every week.

"My daughter delights in the intense dialogues. There is never a dull moment."