Becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is one of the most significant events in a child’s Jewish upbringing. At age 13, it celebrates the child’s readiness to take on the blessings and responsibilities of a Jewish adult.
Parents can expect to receive a letter in the mail to begin the Date Selection process. Depending on a child’s birthday, the letter will either be received during the fall of the student’s 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade year. You can then submit your preferences for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah date.
Usually beginning their formal study in preparation for becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, B’nei Mitzvah students must have been enrolled in and attended Shaare Emeth’s Religious School-or an approved equivalent-for at least four years. B’nei Mitzvah fees must be paid or other financial arrangements made with the office beforehand.
The Shaare Emeth B’nei Mitzvah program is built upon three pillars: Torah, Worship, and Acts of Loving Kindness. Our requirements for each B’nei Mitzvah student are based upon fulfilling goals in each of these three areas. Working with the cantor and other Hebrew teachers one-on-one as well as in small groups, each student will prepare to lead the service and chant from the Torah and Haftarah. Students will work closely with one of our rabbis to outline their interpretation of their Torah and Haftarah portions, to write introductions for both, and to outline and write a d’var torah, or teaching on their Torah portion. Finally, students will work with our director of Jewish Life and Learning on choosing, planning, and implementing a B’nei Mitzvah project, which we lovingly refer to as Project Chesed.