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B'nai Mitzvah

Is your child approaching THAT age? Mazel tov!

Or are you an adult that wishes to confirm your Jewish identity by having the Bar or Bat mitzvah you didn't have growing up?

We are happy to assist you through the entire process of having a meaningful Bar or Bat Mitzvah at our synagogue.

Your path to a meaningful Bar or Bat Mitzvah:

Becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah symbolizes in Jewish terms the passing of the child’s intellectual, emotional and moral childhood to adolescence. This is celebrated by participation in the Shabbat services.

The recognition that each student is an individual of varying abilities and talents is taken into consideration in planning and designing the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony. The student’s participation may vary from reciting a few blessings to conducting virtually the entire Shabbat morning service. Our rabbi will determine the level of participation during the private tutorials. The number of verses chanted from the Torah is also considered during this time. Each ceremony is special, as each student offers his or her own unique gifts.

Although the origins of the term Bar Mitzvah go back approximately two thousand years, the ceremony itself appeared around the Middle Ages. A boy aged thirteen was considered a full member of the religious community and was given an aliyah (to go up) to the bimah and share in the Torah service. It symbolized the teen’s entry into responsible Jewish living in the community.

Though the Talmud teaches that girls had a legal responsibility to observe mitzvoth beginning at the age of twelve, it was not until the 20th century that some families started celebrating the girl’s new status with festivity. The first Bat Mitzvah ceremony in North America was that of Judith Kaplan Eisenstein’s, the daughter of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionism.

While the usual age is thirteen, there is no maximum age limit. Over the past few decades, an increasingly common practice is the adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony. This is less a celebration of one’s coming of age and instead affirms Jewish identity for those Jews who did not have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah as children.

Our temple has certain expectations to ensure your B'nai Mitzvah is a confirming and meaningful experience. Please read our B'nai Mitzvah Handbook to know more:

If you are interested in having any part of your B'nai Mitzvah celebration at our temple, contact us for more information. Many families host  Kiddush luncheons and celebrations in our beautiful social hall and we are happy to assist.  

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