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At the Congregation of Reform Judaism, we believe that it is a privilege for a student to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah once they have learned what it means to be a member of the Jewish community and once they have developed the skills necessary to be an active participant in that community. For this reason, it is the policy of the congregation and school that students have a minimum of four years of Jewish and Hebrew education, at our school or another school, before becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
B’nai Mitzvah dates are to be scheduled not more than two (2) years in advance. Families may share their B’nai Mitzvah. Our Bar/Bat Mitzvah program begins a year before the child's Bar/Bat Mitzvah. At that time, they enter the Chevrutah (Group Track) preparatory class which meets every Wednesday during Religious School. The curriculum for this class focuses on the meaning and structure of the worship service as well as skills needed for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. At the same time that the child enters Chevrutah, he or she will also begin working one-on-one with a tutor on a weekly basis and have individual meetings with the Rabbi and Cantor. This year is an exciting and intensive year for our families, but well worth the effort when after months of hard work and practice, the child is able to confidently lead the congregation in worship
Another aspect of the B’nai Mitzvah program is the requirement that every student participate in a Mitzvah Project. One of the unique attributes of our B’nai Mitzvah students is that they all work hard to find the perfect Mitzvah Project which best represents them. The staff is dedicated to assisting the students by offering a list of perspective projects. B’nai Mitzvah handbooks are given to the children at the first meeting with Rabbi Engel and will communicate programmatic information to parents and students.
1. For YOU to understand what it means to become a B’nai Mitzvah.
2. For YOU to feel responsible for your own Judaism through the performing of Mitzvot.
3. For YOU to form a sense of community with other B’nai Mitzvah students.
4. For YOU to build a closer relationship with the professional staff.
5. For YOUR family to be invested in the B’nai Mitzvah preparation process.
~ For YOU to understand what it means to be a B'nai Mitzvah
A. Meet with the Rabbi and discuss the meaning of B’nai Mitzvah.
B. Read materials given to you related to B’nai Mitzvah.
C. Participate in family activities related to B’nai Mitzvah.
~ For YOU to feel responsible for your own Judaism through the performing of Mitzvot
A. Be able to practice the mitzvah of PRAYING (Tefillah)
1. By studying the meaning and significance of Jewish prayers and praying.
2. By attending Shabbat Services on an ongoing basis.
B. Be able to practice the mitzvah of LEADING THE COMMUNITY IN WORSHIP (Shaleeach Tzibur)
1. By leading an entire Shabbat Service from beginning to end for your congregation in Hebrew and English. This will include reading/chanting
the morning Shabbat liturgy and teaching a lesson from the Torah.
C. Be able to practice the mitzvah of STUDYING (Talmud Torah)
1. By preparing for the leading of a Shabbat Service
2. By reciting or chanting at least 12 verses of Torah.
3. By studying with the Cantor and tutor, one year prior to becoming a B’nai Mitzvah.
D. Be able to practice the mitzvah of TEACHING (Lilomayd Torah)
1. By preparing and presenting a D’var Torah (speech/spoken lesson).
2. By tutoring fellow B’nai Mitzvah students.
E. Be able to practice the mitzvah of ACTING JUSTLY (Tzedakah)
1. By planning and participating in an individual or group Mitzvah project (service project) for your Temple or greater community.
F. Be able to practice the mitzvah of STUDYING FOR ITS OWN SAKE (Torah Lishma)
1. By re-reading his/her Torah portion every year on the anniversary date.
2. By committing to continue your formal Jewish education through attendance at Beit Hamidrash and other Jewish programs.
~ For YOU to form a sense of community with other B’nai Mitzvah students
A. Study with other B’nai Mitzvah students in Chevruta Class taught by the Rabbi and Cantor
B. Participate in group activities for B’nai Mitzvah students.
C. Attend one another’s Shabbat services/B’nai Mitzvah.
D. Celebrate in one another’s B’nai Mitzvah.
4. For YOU to build a closer relationship with the professional staff
A. Meet with the Rabbi, Cantor and tutors on an ongoing basis during the B’nai Mitzvah year.
5. For your family to be invested in the B'nai Mitzvah preparation process
The B’nai Mitzvah family will:
A. Participate in interactive family activities
B. Attend family meetings with the Rabbi.
C. Assist with the individual and/or group Mitzvah process.
D. Attend Shabbat services throughout the year
E. Attend occasional tutoring sessions with the Cantor.