Mazel Tov on your forthcoming simcha! Bar/Bat Mitzvah marks an auspicious moment – not only for your child and your family, but for our Jewish community as well, because it is an opportunity for all of us to reaffirm a centuries-old tradition and joyous celebration.
To help you and your child prepare for a meaningful and memorable experience, you will meet with our clergy in Daled (4th grade) to receive their date and to obtain the Bar/Bat Mitzvah handbook.
We hope that with our mutual cooperation, your preparation will go smoothly, and your special day will be filled with sanctity and joy.
Some important notes:
- Dates are assigned at least 36 months in advance during September to June not earlier than the thirteenth birthday for Bar Mitzvah candidates and between the age of 12 1⁄2 and 13 for Bat Mitzvah candidates.
- Feeling at home in the sanctuary with synagogue rituals prepares our students and their parents, for their bar or bat mitzvah, better than any formal lessons can. Therefore, our b’nai mitzvah students AND their parent(s) have a responsibility and obligation to be in the synagogue main sanctuary prayers in the period preceding the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
- It is the practice at our synagogue that each and every student chant the week’s Haftarah (the prophetic portion and/or Torah reading) on Saturday mornings.
- Parents will receive on-line access to the Haftarah and Torah readings, blessings and prayer services and printed booklets of portions at their parent orientation with the Cantor approximately nine (9) months prior to the date.
- Students meet with the Cantor monthly for one hour and focus on prayer studies in the eight months prior to the date.
- Individual lessons, 30 minutes per week, begin at least eight (8) months before the Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Students with fall dates who are not available during the summer start earlier.
- The Ritual Committee will arrange for ushers to be in the sanctuary during your Simcha. These fellow congregants will greet your guests, find them prayer books, direct them to seats, and help maintain sanctuary decorum.
- Our Bar and Bat Mitzvah candidates and a parent (parents) are also expected to attend monthly Sunday morning Study Brunches as part of their studies and Religious School obligation.
- It is important that all Bar Mitzvah boys are provided (by your family) with their own pair of new t’fillin in time to use during the sessions. Also, each bar/bat mitzvah student is to wear a tallit at their service.
- In Judaism, Shabbat is the holiest and most important day of the week. Appropriate dress will help maintain the dignity of the service and instill the proper mood and respect that our Shabbat commands.
- You will formally meet with the Rabbi several times before your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah. The first meeting is a group orientation which the Rabbi holds annually for parents with upcoming dates.
- Each family also attends services on a Friday night before their date. During those services, the Rabbi will ask your family to rise for a special prayer, and accept a Mazel Tov from the congregation.
- One vital component of your simcha, is the weekday morning minyan at which your son/daughter has the honor of their first aliyah to the Torah (these dates have been provided to you in this packet).
- During a Torah reading service (Shabbat or Rosh Hodesh), you can select guests to receive either aliyot or honors. Both men and women may receive all honors and aliyot, so long as they are at least 13 and Jewish.
- All Bar/Bat Mitzvah children are asked to deliver a short speech, which they have written themselves. This D’var Torah communicates a message or idea relevant to Judaism or to the Jewish people.