A young man becomes Bar Mitzvah and a young woman becomes Bat Mitzvah at the age of 13. Bar/Bat Mitzvah means “one who has the obligation of fulfilling commandments.” At this time the young person should become responsible for performing Jewish obligations, called “mitzvot.” Congregation Bene Shalom follows Jewish tradition in its commitment to the value of life-long Jewish study, a mitzvah known as Talmud Torah. This milestone marks another step in one’s religious education. The ceremony of Bar/Bat Mitzvah symbolizes past, current, and future commitments to Jewish study and involvement. This dedication demonstrates the student’s readiness to begin accepting Jewish adult responsibilities.

Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a religious rite of passage that has many goals. Among them are the strengthening of Hebrew skills, the encouragement to participate in regular worship, fostering Jewish identity and commitment, binding the student and family to Jewish life and involvement, and instilling life-long Jewish values. The occasion of becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah is marked by participating in and leading components of the worship service in both Hebrew and English. Some elements of the service are sung or chanted, while others are read. Exposure to various parts of Jewish ritual tradition enriches the experience of our students.

The Temple takes great pride in the course of study and preparation leading toward B’nai Mitzvah for our children and their families.

Our B’nai Mitzvah classes are led by our rabbis. Additionally each student will meet with both rabbis individually to prepare for their B’nai Mitzvah. Students are expected to lead the congregation in the Shabbat service in Hebrew, English, and American Sign language.