Temple Beth Shalom

21 East Foster Street, Melrose, MA (781) 665-4520

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B'nai Mitzvah

One of the truly great traditions in Judaism surrounds that moment when tallisa Jewish community recognizes that a child or an adult has taken on the responsibilities of Jewish practice. We have helped many children reach their B'nai Mitzvah and many adults achieve a life long dream to have their special day at the bimah.

In our community, Temple Beth Shalom, this event is treated with great joy and solemnity. The joy comes from watching our children and adult members elevate themselves to a new level of understanding. Solemnity comes to us from the realization that the challenges of being Jewish are no less diminished in todays world. 

Thanks to the act of B'nai Mitzvah, we in the community can celebrate the addition of a new member to our observant community. There are essential preparation steps that must be taken to get ready for this day.

 

To Begin

If you are an adult (over 13 years old) and have an interest in becoming "B'nai Mitzvah" then the first thing to do is contact the Rabbi or the Shalom School education director. They will provide you with a brief orientation and direct you to one of the temple's B'nai Mitzvah tutors.

If you have a child that is about to pass their twelfth birthday, the procedure is the same. Once a tutor is assigned the process of getting ready will begin.

 

The Processbat-mitzvah-girl-3

Each Bar/Bat Mitzvah will be required to do the following:

  • Prepare and chant a Torah portion
  • Prepare and chant a Haftorah portion
  • Assist in the conduct of the morning service
  • Prepare and deliver a speech to the congregation
  • Identify and execute your own mitzvah project

The assigned tutor will work with you to learn the required parsha, blessings, and music necessary to complete the B'nai Mitzvah requirements. No musical training is required. An adult or child that has completed Jewish training through the Shalom School will find many of the concepts and requirements familiar already. In addition, the Shalom School will have already covered the basics of a Jewish service. An adult who has already attended services regularly will be, at least, familiar with the service and should have no problem learning the remainder of what they need to know.

For your reference, click here to open up the TBS B'nai Mitzvah Handbook. This document will answer most of your questions about the B'nai Mitzvah process here at Temple Beth Shalom.

 

Recommendations

In order to speed the process of getting ready, the Shalom School recommends that B'nai Mitzvah candidates attend every service. In this way, you can easily become familiar with the service liturgy and prayers. This will be an integral part of the day.

As you or your child gets into the study process, there will be a need to set aside a small amount of time each day to practice your lessons the tutor has given for the week. The tutor is very experienced at preparation requirements. They will guide you through the process so it is important you work with them and progress on schedule.

Lastly, during the sessions with the tutor and your study at home, questions and issues will come up regarding the Torah and Haftarah portions you are studying. This is a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Jewish law, history, and practice as well as the interpretation of the scripture. You should not hesitate to contact your tutor, the Rabbi, or the Shalom School principal with any questions you have.

We are all committed to helping you get the most out of your experience with this great tradition. Let us know how best we can help you!

 

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