B’nai Mitzvah

Become a B’nai Mitzvah at Temple Sholom.


על שלושה דברים העולם עומד: עלהתורה ועל העבודה ועל גמילות חסדים
The world stands on three things: on Torah, on Worship and on Acts of Loving Kindness

“Through this experience I have learned that there is no substitute for hard work.”Jeremy Prince

What becoming a B’nai Mitzvah means at Temple Sholom

Torah – Students prepare the weekly portion that is to be read on the Shabbat of their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. They spend time learning the meaning of that portion and working together with our clergy to write a D’var Torah (a word of Torah or a speech) that teaches the congregation about the portion. Students enter into a centuries long conversation about their portion, sharing their insights and comparing them to scholars and Rabbis who came before them.
Avodah – Students prepare to become adults in our community by learning not only how to participate fully in a worship service, but how to lead the congregation in prayer. Part of this preparation includes attendance at our community’s worship services. It is our hope that students will not only gain familiarity with the service through their attendance, but will also help to build community through their participation.
G’milut Chasadim – Students learn what it means to be part of a community by finding ways to contribute to it through individual Mitzvah Projects. Many students volunteer their time while other raise funds or collect items to donate. While there is no specific requirement for this project, we ask that students 1. Choose a topic that is meaningful to them, and 2. Set a specific and achievable goal to be reached (i.e. a number of hours to volunteer, an amount to be raised, etc.)

At Temple Sholom we invite families to choose a date for their child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah in the year he or she turns 13. This process takes place three years before the child’s 13th birthday. (For example, if your child was born in 2010 and will turn 13 in the year 2023, your date selection process will happen in January of 2020). Because we have an ever-growing membership, many of our dates are shared. This can be a wonderful and rewarding experience when shared with another family in our community. Many families form lasting bonds by sharing the experience.

Students are expected to attend the Temple Sholom Religious School/Beit Sefer Shalom (or equivalent program) in order to prepare to become B’nai Mitzvah. Our program begins as early as Junior Kindergarten. While in our early childhood program students are exposed to Hebrew and will become familiar with the Alef-Bet and commonly used Hebrew words, they will begin formal Hebrew education in 3rd grade. While our one-day-a-week students will get a taste of Hebrew, students who attend our two-day-a-week program will build a strong foundation in Hebrew and will feel confident entering into the 6th grade B’nai Mitzvah prep course.
In 6th grade, students will participate in a B’nai Mitzvah preparation program, which is a two-day-a-week program, and is taught by master teachers. This program explores important concepts around becoming responsible members of the Jewish community as well as the meaning of our t’fliah (prayer). Fifteen months prior to their dates, students begin working with a private tutor to learn their individual portions.

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