At Congregation Emanu El, our goal is to build a bar/bat mitzvah experience that creates an important milestone in a lifelong journey of Jewish learning and growth for your child and your family. We believe that both your child’s bar or bat mitzvah service, as well as the months spent preparing for it, will deepen your family’s connection to Jewish prayer, Jewish living and our Jewish community.
Our specific intended outcomes of the b’nei mitzvah experience are:
- Student and family feel more connected to the Emanu El congregational community.
- Student and family find personal meaning in, and connection to, the ritual of bar/bat mitzvah.
- Student engages in meaningful acts of Jewish learning and teaching.
- Student feels pride for having accomplished something challenging (the bar/bat mitzvah should be, for each student, a task that was difficult but not impossible).
- Student has a sense of familiarity and ownership with a core set of Jewish prayer.
In order to become a bar/bat mitzvah and lead services at Emanu El, students are required to be enrolled in Helfman Religious School and:
- Regularly attend 7th grade classes (or the religious school class in which they are placed during their b’nei mitzvah year)
- Attend Tuesday/Thursday b’nei mitzvah preparation classes for approximately six months (48 sessions) prior to their ceremony
- Attend Tuesday Gesher classes if they are already in 7th grade until they enter the b’nei mitzvah program
- Have completed a minimum of three years of Hebrew classes: students enrolled in public or private school must begin Hebrew classes at Helfman Religious School in 4th grade; students enrolled in a Jewish day school must attend Helfman Religious School in 6th grade
- The family of the student must be current on its financial membership commitments (see page 13 of the B’nei Mitzvah Parent Handbook for a complete list of fees per the temple’s by-laws)