Congratulations! Mazel Tov!
If you’re on this page, someone in your life is probably on their way to becoming a Bnai Mitzvah. That’s a big deal! Bnai Mitzvah marks a real transition in a young person’s life. As they enter adolescence at age 13, they are becoming more responsible for themselves, and in fact, bnai mitzvah can be translated as “responsible for fulfilling one’s obligations.”
Life transitions are both wonderful and hard. So we gather as a community to make the transition both joyful and real. That’s the bat/bar/kabbalat mitzvah ceremony!
At Temple Bnai Israel, we tailor the day to the individual. But most of the time, the Bnai Mitzvah will…
- Help lead services
- Chant their Haftorah and a Torah reading along with the blessings
- Give a talk (D’var Torah) sharing their own thoughts on the meaning of the day
In the year leading up to their ceremony, the Bnai Mitzvah will work with Rav Jeremy on all those skills, and also on the meaning of this important transition. What really is a “mitzvah?” What are our Jewish and human obligations? Where do they come from? What do the different denominations of Judaism say about that? And what does the student think about it?
They will also work on a project. (often called a ‘mitzvah project’) The project is another exercise in Jewish responsibility, where the young person takes responsibility, and puts in extra effort into the process of growing as a Jew in some way that’s meaningful for them. They might want to learn something beyond what they’ve learned in our Jewish Explorations program. They might want to raise money for a cause that’s important to them, do some kind deeds, or work on something related to social justice. These are all examples of potential projects.
We hope that whomever you know on the way to becoming a Bnai Mitzvah, has a joyful and meaningful journey!