|There are few rites of passage like the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Many have described it as the most spiritual moment of their lives. At Temple Sholom, our Religious School teachers and clergy will work closely with your child over a period of several years to ensure that the Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a religiously meaningful experience.
Religious School - In 5th grade children begin to familiarize themselves with the sacred liturgy of the Saturday morning Torah service, which they will lead the day of their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. This is a process that lasts until the completion of 7th grade. In the 6th grade they will learn the Trope (cantillation symbols), which will enable them to learn the Torah reading required for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
Study with Ezra Konigsberg - Students will begin private training for their Bar/Bat mitzvah with Ritual Director Ezra Konigsberg approximately nine months before the simcha, after an appointment with Cantor Asa to discuss the Bar/Bat Mitzvah process. Ezra will train students on their Torah portions and Haftorah.
Study with Cantor Asa - All students begin meeting with Cantor Asa approximately 4 months before the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Cantor Asa will teach and discuss prayers with the students, ensuring both an understanding of the prayer’s content and its historical background.
Rabbi Mitch - Students meet with Rabbi Mitch to discuss their speeches for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah Torah portion and the historical and cultural importance of becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
Bar Mitzvah Workshops - In the 6th grade year, parents and students meet with the Rabbi privately and engage in family education programming prior to Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
Required service attendance - Bar/Bat Mitzvah students are required to attend at least ten services per year in the years leading up to their simcha. There are many services families can attend to help their child meet this requirement. Among these are the Learner’s Minyan, Saturday morning services and Friday night TGIS (Thank God It's Shabbat) services. Frequent attendance at either of the Saturday morning services is especially encouraged as this will increase the student's proficiency and comfort in the leading the prayers on the day of their simcha. Children will also assist in leading prayers at non-Bar/Bat Mitzvah services, by arrangement with the Cantor or Ritual Director.
Our children can become Bar/Bat Mitzvah at two different services:
Shabbat Morning - The Bar/Bat Mitzvah conducts the Torah service, reads from the Torah and Haftorah and leads prayers such as the Shema and the Amidah.
Shabbat Afternoon - The Bar/Bat Mitzvah conducts the Torah service, reads from the Torah, and leads prayers such as Ashrei and the Amidah.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah means son/daughter of the commandment and signifies the moment when our children become responsible for their own relationship with our synagogue and with the Jewish people. We hope that the course of study will help to instill our young people with a love of Judaism that will lead them to serve their Jewish communities for a lifetime to come.
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