Community You Can Believe In

Bar & Bat Mitzvah

We are honored to share with you both the preparation for Bar/Bat Mitzvah and the special day itself. We hope this will mark a milestone in a long partnership that will help nurture your family’s Jewish growth and make Beth El Temple a genuine spiritual home for you.
 
Looking for information for an adult bar or bat mitzvah? Click here!
 

Some Things to Think About

From experience we offer some thoughts and suggestions as you think about this day:

  • You are creating memories. Your child will remember this day for the rest of his/her life. Do everything possible to make it positive, enriching and meaningful for family harmony and in Jewish ways, as well.
  • Children watch parents closely and they generalize. The manner in which you prepare for the day communicates your values. Therefore, in addition to planning carefully for receptions and new clothing, we encourage you to also devote time and resources to the Jewish celebration that Bar/Bat Mitzvah is. Attend more services than necessary. Make sure that fathers -- and mothers, too, if they want -- have their own Tallit (ritual shawl worn by Jews) and Kippah (headcovering). Start eating Challah (ritual bread) on Friday nights and say the Hamotzi (blessing over bread). Such actions will broadcast "my family cares about Judaism. It must be important." We are happy to help you become comfortable with any of these rituals. 
  • Use this time to deepen your child’s appreciation of your family’s history. Discuss your child’s Hebrew name. For whom is he or she named? What kind of person was this ancestor? What qualities would you as parents hope your child might emulate from your family’s past? If you or child does not have a Hebrew name please consult with the rabbis.

 
All Are Welcome

Our Beth El Temple welcomes family members of other faiths and will find a way to include them in a meaningful, inclusive experience. We are also committed to working with individuals with special needs to craft an experience that is both meaningful and appropriate. 
 

You Might Enjoy Reading

For more enriching ideas see “Putting God on the Guest List: How to Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Child's Bar or Bat Mitzvah” by Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin or “Bar/Bat Mitzvah Basics: A Practical Family Guide to Coming of Age Together” by Cantor Helen Leneman. For what to expect at a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, check out this page from My Jewish Learning.


For More Information

For more information concerning Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation, contact our office at (860) 233-9696.


 
ADULT BAR/BAT MITZVAH

Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a program designed for those who did not have a bar/bat mitzvah as a child or who want a more meaningful experience the second time around.
 
It includes intensive study of Hebrew language and an exploration of many important themes in Jewish history, culture, holidays, literature, and practice. Students learn to chant from the Torah and Haftarah as well as to lead services in preparation for the culminating event, the Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah, held on a Shabbat morning with the entire congregation invited.
 
Contact Rabbi Ilana Garber at (860) 233-9696, ext 104 for more details.