B’nei Mitzvah Rough Timeline
Fourth Grade Parent Meeting: This meeting will
focus on how B’nei Mitzvah dates are assigned and the beginning steps of this
Spring of Fourth
Grade: B’nei Mitzvah dates are assigned.
Fifth Grade Parent Meeting: As a way to create
a bridge between the abstract notion of your child becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah
in the future and the reality of truly preparing for this lifecycle during the
Sixth and Seventh grades, this has proven to be a very helpful opportunity for
Sixth Grade Parent Sign Ups
for Ushering at B’nei Mitzvah services- One of the ways that we ask for
parental involvement, and are create a natural opportunity for our parents is to
ask each family to volunteer to usher at one service the year prior to their own
Grade 6 Erev Retreat
Send Off- On the Friday night before the Sixth grade class leaves for
their retreat, members of the class will receive the first of many materials
they will use in their preparation. This is a wonderful way to kick-off both
their retreat weekend and the official start of this B’nei Mitzvah
Grade 6 Retreat for our
Students: Held at Camp Eisner in Great Barrington, MA.
In the Fall of
Sixth Grade, students participate in a wonderful weekend retreat with their
classmates and staffed by members our educational team as part of the Gesher
Lech Lecha Family Education Component: Lech
Lecha, which takes place during the 6th grade year, is a five-part series of
classes, which provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to learn with your
children as they begin the formal process of preparing to become B’nei Mitzvah.
Some of our sessions will be only for parents and others will include your
children as well. Lech Lecha, which is the name of the Torah portion when Abram
sets out on his own spiritual journey, reflects this important stage in your
child’s life and in your own life as well. Your family is about to embark on
this journey and we, your temple family are here to help you along each step of
the way. Together we will be exploring the questions you have about this process
from perhaps the most profound to the most common question and everything in
We encourage all families at any point along the B’nei Mitzvah
journey to attend Shabbat services, Torah study sessions and other educational
opportunities along the way.
Sixth Grade: Students meet with Rabbi Lenke to assess Hebrew reading
skills and course of action
before Bar/Bat Mitzvah: Meet with Rabbi Lenke so that private tutoring
Fall/Early Winter of Seventh
Grade: Hebrew review sessions with Rabbi Lenke are available to students
who want more opportunities to review specific prayers from our Shabbat
1 Month before Bar/Bat
Mitzvah: All prayers, Torah readings, Haftarah readings and D’var Torah
should be in good shape. The next few weeks will include a number of rehearsals
in the sanctuary, so that each B’nei Mitzvah candidate is comfortable leading
the service in front of the congregation.
Becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah is
certainly a milestone in the life of a Jew, but it is by no means a conclusion.
We strongly encourage our students to continue with their Jewish studies and
participation at Temple Beth Shalom long after the Bar or Bat Mitzvah is over.
We are well aware that our children have busy schedules especially throughout
high school, but we are also aware that this is a crucial time in their lives
where they could use the structure and support of their community. Our Sha’arim
Program “Teen Gateways” for Students in Grades 8-12 provides a variety of
experiences from Social Justice Work to Wilderness Explorations that will be of
interest to many of our teens and challenge them in new and exciting ways. Link
to Sha’arim Program…
1 Week after
Bar/Bat Mitzvah: Families will meet with one of our rabbis for a Bar/Bat
Mitzvah Touchbase which provides a great opportunity to provide the 20/20
perspective of hindsight and insight.