Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders
Bar is son; Bat is daughter; Mitzvah is commandment. From their earliest years, Jewish children are actively welcomed to participate in religious observance both at home and as part of the congregation. As they grow, they are encouraged to take on increasing amounts of the adult responsibilities of the commandments. Leading up to their Bar or Bat Mitzvah they study more intensely. At age 13 they are obligated to observe the commandments.
At Temple Emanuel Sinai the B’nai Mitzvah ceremonies take place as part of a weekly Shabbat service. Typically the Bat or Bar Mitzvah will learn and chant that week’s Torah portion, lead prayers and deliver a D’var Torah (teaching on the Torah portion). Their family members are welcomed and participate in the service through various honors. Everyone in the community is invited to the service to celebrate this important milestone for their family and in the life of our congregation.
B’nai Mitzvah is an important milestone but it is definitely not an end to Torah study and religious education. It is the first step B’nai Mitzvah take as adults into a lifetime of Jewish learning.
Our B’nai Mitzvah students learn the majority of their preparation through our Religious School. If you’re interested in your child becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah, please first contact our Religious School Director, Tali Mugg (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss our religious school
B’nai Mitzvah Process at Temple Emanuel Sinai
At Temple Emanuel Sinai, we pride ourselves on our holistic approach to becoming bar/bat mitzvah.
Each of our students begins by studying in our Religious school and learning Hebrew, liturgy/prayers and Jewish culture and history through a variety of different modalities. They also attend weekly engaging and interactive Religious School Shabbat worship. Students have an opportunity to lead our community in worship in their class services beginning in 3rd grade, as they become comfortable and confident reciting and singing the prayers.
The formal process of becoming B’nai Mitzvah begins in 6th grade, when we offer family education preparatory programs. In these classes, we explore what it means to become a bar/bat mitzvah, study Torah and mitzvot/commandments and provide an overview of what the journey will be like.
As students begin their own formal study, we provide one on one tutoring catered to the strengths and learning styles of each, individual student. Tutoring begins approximately 6 months prior to the bar/bat mitzvah service and includes studies in chanting Torah and Haftarah and leading the Shabbat morning prayer service. We encourage students to “think outside the box” and cater to their areas of interest in planning and preparing their D’var Torah (teaching of their Torah portion.) Our students have really shone in presenting engaging, thoughtful and very creative presentations.
At Temple Emanuel Sinai, no two B’nai Mitzvah services are alike. Students and their families have the opportunity to select liturgical music and creative readings that they connect with. This gives each B’nai Mitzvah service extra special meaning to both our students, their families and our community. We also pride ourselves in making our service inclusive for interfaith families. We provide opportunities in the service to honor family members of every faith tradition.
Our holistic approach to learning also focuses on each student choosing a Gemilut Hasadim (act of loving kindness)/community service project. Each student selects a volunteer opportunity that is meaningful to them. Students volunteers for an organization or complete a community service project during the year leading up to their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. We hope this not only teaches them the Jewish value of making the world a better place, but encourages to continue serving their communities in meaningful ways into adulthood.
Becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a milestone on the journey to Jewish adulthood. Our studies of Judaism never end. At Temple Emanuel Sinai, we believe that becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah is just a beginning and our students will continue their studies to confirmation and through Kehillah High School program.
Wishing you a Mazel Tov on this very special milestone in your family’s life!
For inquiries into religious school enrollment, please contact our Education Director Tali Mugg at email@example.com.
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