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 How Do We Prepare for Our Child's B'Mitzvah?


What does B'Mitzvah mean?

B'Mitzvah is one of many milestones along an individual’s Jewish Journey. The terms "bar mitzvah" and "bat mitzvah" literally mean "son of the commandments" and "daughter of the commandments." B'Mitzvah is an inclusive, non-gender specific way of recognizing this important milestone in our childrens' lives. 

B'Mitzvah is a fundamental rite of passage, not only for the young student called to the Torah but for their family as well. The experience of B'Mitzvah can be spiritually uplifting – it can be transformative by deepening the entire family’s knowledge, understanding and connection to Judaism and TBT. Temple B’nai Torah strives to partner with each family to help make the B'Mitzvah ceremony a meaningful stepping stone towards the family’s ongoing commitment to Judaism and each individual’s Jewish Journey.

Our goal is for the B'Mitzvah students to become educated about Judaism’s ethics, traditions, and to feel comfortable in our synagogue’s activities. Historically, bar and bat mitzvah is the ceremonial occasion that marks the time when a young person is recognized as an adult in the Jewish community and is responsible for performing mitzvot (the commandments of the Torah). At Temple B’nai Torah, the B'Mitzvah ceremony takes place within our regularly scheduled Shabbat morning (Shacharit) worship service.

To enable you to focus on the most important spiritual elements of this very special simcha (celebration), the staff of Temple B’nai Torah works with you on the many different aspects of the occasion.


Preparing for your B'Mitzvah

Rabbi Molly Weisel oversees B'Mitzvah training. All specific questions regarding training and the B'Mitzvah Ceremony should be discussed directly with her.

The process of preparing to become B'Mitzvah begins early at Temple B’nai Torah. We expect our youth to have attended and successfully completed three (3) years of Hebrew and Judaic studies, either at our Religious School or in another program that is approved by Rabbi Molly. Each student must be registered for and participate in their Religious School class during their B'Mitzvah year. We will work individually with students and their families if alternative educational arrangements are needed.

Students begin preparing for B'Mitzvah about 9-12 months prior to the ceremony date. Families arrange for private lessons with one of the Temple's tutors. In addition, as the B'Mitzvah approaches, the student will meet with clergy for help preparing the D'var Torah and the Shabbat service.

As our philosophy makes clear, B'Mitzvah is but a stepping stone in a life of learning Judaism and being Jewish. Therefore, we expect our students to continue with their Jewish education past the Shabbat service by participating in our Teen programs.


Family Participation

Preparation for B'Mitzvah is a working partnership among the student, the family and the leadership of Temple B’nai Torah. Your involvement in the training process and in connecting more closely with the Temple community during this period is crucial.

During the 6th grade year, parents will participate in a B'Mitzvah orientation. This is to enhance parental understanding of the details of the B'Mitzvah service and to build relationships among parents going through the experience in the same year.

Because sometimes, families want the same date, we may “pair” students for their ceremony. A paired B'Mitzvah is a wonderful opportunity to share this simcha (celebration) with another family and to expand your own connections within the congregation. By contacting your partner family early in the process you can jointly agree on such logistical issues such as food, set up of the Temple’s Oneg and Social Halls, table flowers, video and photographers, etc.


Wed, June 12 2024 6 Sivan 5784