The celebration of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah represents a transition point in a child’s Jewish life. It is an opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge that a child has gained through formal education as well as the beginning of new personal and communal Jewish responsibilities.
A Wonderful Milestone in Your Jewish Journey
The goals of the Congregation Beth David B’nei Mitzvah program are to:
- comprehensively prepare all children in our congregation for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah,
- instill a sense of Jewish identity and personal connection with the Beth David community that will last a lifetime,
- provide B’nei Mitzvah families with a meaningful Jewish experience that inspires growth and learning.
Preparation for becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah begins in early childhood through experiencing Jewish life at home, in school, and in synagogue. Congregation Beth David is committed to providing many opportunities for children to have positive Jewish experiences. The B’nei Mitzvah program is designed both to teach Jewish children how to participate in Jewish worship as well as to remain active Jewishly through their teen years and into adulthood.
As early as possible all children of Congregation Beth David should receive a formal Jewish education, either in our Religious School or at a Jewish day school. It is in a primary or supplementary Jewish school that children gain a knowledge of Jewish living, values, and texts, as well as learn to read Hebrew, the language of the Jewish people. There is a minimum requirement of 2 years of formal Jewish education directly before Bar/Bat Mitzvah. This means beginning no later than 5th grade. It is during 5th grade that the B’nei Mitzvah dates are given out.
- Core Judaic Learning through our Youth Education Program
- Attendance at our Religious School program during grades K-6 begins the process of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
- Shabbat School – once/month our Religious School meets on Shabbat; we encourage the entire family to attend and participate either in our program, the main service, or the alternative service that is offered and then stay for community kiddush lunch.
- Trope, the melody used for chanting Torah is taught in 5th grade and for Haftarah is taught in 6th grade. By learning trope, your child is learning a lifelong skill as opposed to memorizing their particular portion for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
- Attendance at Youth Services – youth services are offered at least once/month from September through May. Attending youth services allows your child to become familiar with the Shabbat morning service, allows them to participate as co-leaders and gives them the opportunity to chant Torah in a fun and relaxed environment. We know from experience that the more your child attends, the better prepared they will be when tutoring begins.
- Torah Readers Club & Pin – once your child has chanted Torah 3 times in Youth Congregation they will receive their Torah Reader’s Club Pin
- Torah Service & Haftarah Trope Shabbat occurs annually in May when the 6th grade class leads the Torah service and chants the Haftarah in the Main sanctuary.
- Usually, tutoring begins approximately 6 months prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date. This is weekly, individual tutoring with our Director of Ritual and Lifecycle Events, Barbara Biran.
- Tutoring could begin earlier depending on your child’s schedule, for example being gone for an extended period of time for camp or vacation.
- Tutoring is individualized to meet the needs of your child.
- There is an additional fee for tutoring.
- When tutoring begins, a mentor, an adult in our community will be assigned to help your child understand their Torah and Haftarah portion and then assist them in writing their speech that they will give on the day of their Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
The staff at Congregation Beth David is eager to help you through the B’nei Mitzvah journey. For more information email Barbara Biran.