Bar and Bat Mitzvah Preparation
THE BAR/BAT MITZVAH CEREMONY IN PERSPECTIVE
Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a public acknowledgement that a boy or girl has begun to become a responsible adult member of the Jewish community. It is an important step in the transition to adulthood and the acceptance of responsibility for one’s own actions. As a public acknowledgement, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah “ceremony” takes place in the context of a normal worship service at which a portion from the Torah is read. During the course of that service, the Bar or Bat Mitzvah is given the opportunity to demonstrate that he or she has acquired the skills to participate in the service and the knowledge to fulfill some of the obligations of a Jewish adult. The
The Bar/Bat Mitzvah‘s participation is part of a regular service of the congregation. It is not a separate, private ceremony only for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah family. At the same time, because we are a relatively small, intimate congregation, it is likely that the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child and family are well known, established members of the community. Therefore, the family’s celebration is a simcha shared by the community at large.
The Bar/Bat Mitzvah brings honor to himself or herself by the manner and extent to which he or she participates in the service. Participation in the service is the core – the heart and the soul-of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah” ceremony.” Students will be well prepared before leading parts of the service. Since Beth David is an egalitarian congregation, participation in services is not dependent on the gender of the student. The Bar /Bat Mitzvah at Beth David is an event for the Beth David congregation as well as for the family. The entire congregation looks forward to sharing the joy as our children become young adults. Beth David encourages celebrations following services to be consistent with the religious nature of the occasion.
Rabbi Havivi will lead Bar/Bat Mitzvah sessions for upcoming students on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9:30 am until 10:30 am. Parents of children with scheduled Bar and Bat Mitzvah lessons should check for dates in their email.
Beth David Guide for Parents and Families
The Bar and Bat Mitzvah handbook [PDF] includes a checklist of information that families of upcoming B’nai Mitzvah should read.