Temple Beth Torah
B’nai Mitzvah

B’nai Mitzvah

Becoming a Bar/Bat/BMitzvah is an important milestone for our students at TBT, one of the most important on their lifelong path of Jewish seeking. Through the B’nai Mitzvah experience, our students deepen their Jewish knowledge; begin to embrace and affirm their unique Jewish identities; and start on their path of building a lifelong, personal relationship with Judaism and Jewish living.

Each one of our students is unique in their Jewish identity and journey. Because of this, the Rabbi and B’nai Mitzvah tutor works with each student and family to make the service and preparation process meaningful and personal.

B’nai Mitzvah Families also come together and build community with one another as a B’nai Mitzvah Family Cohort and have meaningful learning experiences with the Rabbi. 

Preparation is a multi-year process and includes learning to chant from the Torah and the Haftarah, learning to lead key prayers of the service, and writing a personally meaningful Dvar (speech) about the Torah portion. Students also complete a Tikkun Olam or social justice project of their choosing.

B’nai Mitzvah Tutoring

Your child will begin fourteen (14) one-half hour tutorial sessions to learn the requirements of Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  Additional sessions are available by request.

A Temple-approved tutor will teach the following to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child in preparation for the service.  Based on their individual skill and ability students will be taught to:

  1. Chant the blessings for being called up to the Torah for an Aliyah.
  2. Chant the Haftorah portion, with blessings.
  3. Read a selection from the Torah scroll.
  4. Lead the congregation in prayers.

Individual Study with the Rabbi

Approximately 3-5 months in advance of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date, the Rabbi will contact you to set up study sessions.  The Rabbi will help your child prepare the D’var Torah, an explanation of the weekly Torah portion.

Tallit Ceremony

It is the tradition at Temple Beth Torah that parents present their child with his/her tallit at the beginning of the service.  At this time a prayer, previously prepared by the Rabbi, is recited by both parents and child.  This meaningful part of the service provides the parents with the opportunity to bless their child prior to the actual ceremony.

Celebrating and Honoring the B’nai Mitzvah Student

We offer the opportunity to publicly speak to the B’nai Mitzvah Student. These words of congratulations to the child usually occur once the Torah has been put away.

B’nai Mitzvah Certificate/Gifts

Upon completion of the service, a certificate indicating that the child has been called to the Torah as a Bar/Bat Mitzvah will be presented by the Rabbi.  In addition, the Rabbi will also present the student with B’nai Mitzvah gifts, Tikkun Olam certificate and Passport to Israel certificate, when applicable.

Mitzvah Project

Our B’nai Mitzvah candidates organize or participate in a Mitzvah Project during the year prior to becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.  This project gives our students an opportunity to explore a charitable interest or social justice issue in our community.  Post-B’nai Mitzvah students may work with Rabbi Mimi to determine a Mitzvah Project and continue to work together and within the community to meet a need they identify.

B’nai Mitzvah Handbook