Over 150 years ago, the Reform movement instituted the ceremony of Confirmation.  At this time, for a number of reasons, bar mitzvah was not being observed in the Reform Jewish community and the leaders determined that a culminating activity should be held known as Confirmation.  This celebration of the conclusion of the formal religious years was initially held in eighth grade, and then moved to ninth, and then to tenth where it is today.  Confirmation is not a replacement for bar/t mitzvah, but a unique time for students to study with the rabbi, ask hard questions, and begin preparation for living a Jewish life.  Though the ceremony is often held in connection with Shavuot, there are other options as well.  Students at Temple Israel who celebrate a bar/t mitzvah are expected to continue their Jewish studies until Confirmation.