Becoming B’nei Mitzvah marks the transition from childhood to a more adult level of responsibility in our community. At Temple Israel, our students prepare for at least six months so that when they become Bar or Bat Mitzvah, they are ready to confidently lead the congregation in prayer services, read from the Torah, chant Haftarah, and share their insights about their “parsha” and mitzvah project. When our students reach this milestone, it is a joyous occasion for them, their families and the whole Temple Israel community.
How do children prepare for becoming B’nei Mitzvah?
Curriculum: Students attend Religious School twice a week, continuing to expand their knowledge in Judaic studies, ethics and values, and Hebrew language.
Tutoring: Six or more months before their scheduled B’nei Mitzvah dates, students begin one-on-one instruction with a tutor outside of school to master their assigned Maftir and Haftarah portions and to practice leading key elements of our Shabbat services. Students and tutors meet approximately 25 times in one-on-one tutoring sessions.
Services: Confidence in leading our liturgy comes from actual participation in Shabbat services. During the 12 to 24 months preceding their B’nei Mitzvah, students must attend at least 24 services. Students frequently assist the rabbi in leading portions of the service. It’s a wonderful time for parents to bond with their child and for the TIP community to offer support and encouragement.
Mitzvah Project: Preparation for adulthood includes taking responsibility for “tikkun olam” — repair of the world. During the lead-up to B’nei Mitzvah, our students therefore develop and complete mitzvah projects to experience what it means to make a difference in one’s community.