Bar/Bat Mitzvah Requirements

Regular attendance in the religious school for five consecutive years beginning in third grade, as well as five years of Hebrew study in the Congregation’s Hebrew program. A successful completion of an individual course of study is also required prior to becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. It is required that all B’nai Mitzvah will continue in their religious school program, regardless of their Bar/Bat Mitzvah date, through the completion of the school year. It is expected that all B’nai Mitzvah will continue in the religious school through the Confirmation year [10th grade].

Each Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidate will attend a minimum of six Shabbat evening or morning services, accompanied by parents, at Congregation Shalom during the year prior to his or her becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. They can attend services at another synagogue, but must confirm this with the Rabbi. The student must also write about these experiences in the mitzvah journal.

Each B’nai Mitzvah candidate will perform, with prior approval from the Rabbi, 13 Mitzvot during the months preceding his or her becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. The Mitzvot should be divided into the following three categories: Torah – Study & Knowledge, Avodah – Observance, and G’millut Chasidim – Acts of Loving-Kindness. A journal describing their experiences should be kept. Throughout the year the Rabbi will monitor their efforts and discuss their journal writings.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Workshops for 6th graders and their parents are held. These workshops led by the Rabbi are an invaluable tool for families to address issues pertaining to their children’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah. The series includes two sessions, which focus on the history and significance of Bar/Bat Mitzvah, value clarification, as well as practical planning issues.

Families must be in good financial standing with Congregation or have made appropriate arrangements with the Treasurer or President.