“It is a Mitzvah to make a meal on the day one’s child becomes a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, just like the day of their wedding….”
As our students reach their thirteenth year, our tradition teaches us that they undertake the responsibility of observing the mitzvot or commandments. Temple Beth David celebrates this milestone through one on one study, a worship service led by our B’nei mitzvah students and gathering for an Oneg Shabbat in their honor on the Friday evening preceding their date as well as a variety of reception choices held in our social hall.
After several years of study, your child will lead the service. They will chant from the Torah and Haftarah. They will teach us in their own words, the lessons revealed to them in their individual Torah portion.
Many parents tell us that the day of their child’s Bar/Bat mitzvah is one of the most cherished memories in their lives. We look forward to helping you and your family prepare for this Jewish rite of passage.
(Wendy Perry, our clergy administrative assistant, will contact you for individual appointments and meetings, as well as information about selecting a date.)
B’Nai Mitzvah Prayers from Rabbi Halpern
Blessing before the Haftarah
Blessing after the Haftarah
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Planning
You will know your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah is approaching when you receive a questionnaire asking for relevant information to help us in assigning your date. This generally happens during the fourth grade in Hebrew School, although there are a few exceptions. Once most of the questionnaires are returned, the clergy will assign your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah date.
Mazel Tov! This is the beginning of a very exciting process that will culminate with a memory that will last a lifetime.
Torah and Haftarah portions are assigned and given out at our “packet meetings” from 6 months to one year before the date of your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah depending on when your date falls. Rabbi Halpern will discuss the entire process with the group of parents for that season and will answer questions.
Lessons with our B’nei Mitzvah tutor begin approximately 5 months before your child’s date and are scheduled individually. Your child will receive an evaluation form at each appointment and a duplicate will be given to Rabbi Halpern. Any problems or questions regarding tutoring should be referred to Rabbi Halpern. Our tutor will be in touch by phone to schedule appointments privately.
One of the most important elements during our Sabbath worship service is the speech that each B’Nai Mitzvah student will deliver from the bimah. In many respects, it is the most meaningful aspect of our worship experience. In addition to offering gratitude to the student’s family, friends, and teachers who assisted your student in becoming a B’Nai Mitzvah, your child’s speech will also contain an element of wisdom and learning that he or she will use to illuminate some facet of his or her Torah portion to our congregation. Several months prior to your child’s B’Nai Mitzvah, Rabbi Klafter will invite you to a D’Var Torah meeting. At that time, parents and students will discuss the meaning of becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah; Rabbi Klafter will also provide an outline for the D’Var Torah. Individual family meetings with her take place prior to the Bar or Bat Mitzvah date. She is always available to assist students and families as they prepare for this special day.
In the final month of preparation, Rabbi Halpern will meet with your child individually and then with the all of the children on a particular date. Rehearsals are scheduled in the sanctuary to give your child an opportunity to get comfortable on the bimah and practice reading from the Torah. Rabbi Halpern will assist you in understanding the our customs with respect to aliyot and non-speaking honors as well as the service in general. All questions regarding the Bar/Bat Mitzvah service should be directed to Rabbi Halpern.