Bar and Bat Mitzvah Program
B’nei Mitzvah is one of the most celebrated Jewish milestones but it is not a one-time event. It is a celebration of just one of the many significant moments along the path of one’s Jewish journey. Learners on the journey are immersed in a sense of moral obligation toward all people, of being an integral member of the Jewish people, of being loved and cherished by one’s clergy and educator, of answering the call to participate with “Hineini – Here I Am”, and of having a place of leadership within the Jewish community, well beyond B’nei Mitzvah. Temple Beth Sholom values the individual lives and souls of each of our students, our learners. We honor and care about the dreams and aspirations that each student and their family bring to the process. We value the Jewish tradition of immersion in the core mitzvoth that signify a Jew’s coming of age, including lifelong learning, engagement in the wider community and being a partner in making Temple Beth Sholom a “Kehilah Kedosha”, a holy community.
Cantor Lisa Segal is the B'nei Mitzvah Director. She proudly stands on the shoulders of those who came before her - Morah Shula Ben David, and Cantor Steven Haas. Cantor Segal has years of experience working with B'nei Mitzvah students and is committed to retaining the high standards set forth by her predecessors.
Cantor Segal encourages all post-B'nei Mitzvah to chant Torah at their younger sibling's Bar or Bat Mitzvah service, as well as parents to chant at their children's Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Please discuss this option with her. B'nei Mitzvah students who have a mincha service will be encouraged to chant the following Shabbat morning at our minyan service. Post-B'nei Mitzvah students are encouraged to chant Torah and/or Haftarah on the anniversary of their B'nei Mitzvah.
B’nei Mitzvah Requirements:
• Students are eligible to receive a date on or after their 10th birthday. Special consideration will be made for summer birthdays. Those with dates already in the calendar will be honored.
• Families must be Temple members in good standing.
• Students must be enrolled in the School for Living Judaism.
• Students must have attended the School for Living Judaism for a minimum of 3 years.
a. Jewish Day School Education through Grade 5.
b. Private Hebrew Tutoring by an approved TBS tutor at the family’s expense.
c. Families who join TBS close to a child’s BM age will be assigned a TBS private tutor at the family’s expense. There may be a delay in scheduling the BM date in order to bring the student up to the entry level of the BM program.
• If a student does not meet the TBS BM program criteria, private tutoring by an approved TBS tutor will be required at the family’s expense.
B’nei Mitzvah Fee: $1,425 per student. This fee includes the weekly Tuesday class, 20 1-hour private lessons, the courtyard brick dedicated in honor of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, the Oneg Shabbat on the Friday night prior to the Bar or Bat Mitzvah and the basic Kiddush on Saturday morning. Any private tutoring session canceled within 24 hours will be counted as a lesson. Parents of students requiring more than the 20 lessons will be financially responsible for any additional sessions.
B’nei Mitzvah Preparation Process:
Preparation for B’nei Mitzvah begins one year prior to the BM date. Cantor Segal will notify parents when she plans to transfer a child from their Grade 6 class to the B’nei Mitzvah readiness class. The program consists of both a group session and private tutorials. The group session is a wonderful way for the class to bond. Students are encouraged to invite their entire class to their simcha. These same children will all be in BESHTY together, go through Confirmation together and, hopefully, visit Israel together.
BM Readiness Class – Students who are one year from their date are required to attend this class which is held every Tuesday afternoon from 4:00 to 5:30 PM. Students are broken up into levels and taught in groups by both our adult and student tutors (Tzofim). Parents are encouraged to attend the Tefillah with your child which occurs from 5:00 to 5:30 p.m. in the chapel.
Private Tutorials – Students will be assigned to a tutor six months prior to their BM date. Students will be given 20 1-hour lessons scheduled at a mutually convenient time for the student and the tutor. Cancellation within 24 hours will count as one of the 20 lessons provided. Parents of students requiring more than the 20 lessons will be financially responsible for any additional sessions.
Students will have a series of bima rehearsals led by one of our Cantors two weeks prior to their BM date.