Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is an exciting process that requires a great deal of preparation. Some events happen as a class cohort and some involve just the student and his/her family. See below for the full timeline:

4th Grade

Family receives Bar/Bat Mitzvah date. Date is confirmed by the synagogue office upon receipt of first installation of B’nai Mitzvah fee.

6th Grade

Families attend class cohort programs to connect with other families sharing this experience. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Sixth Grade Kickoff– Fall event to introduce the B’nai Mitzvah process. (Second installation of B’nai Mitzvah fee due)
  • Matan Parashah– Special meal and ceremony during a Shabbat in the winter, when students receive personal siddurim, their Torah/Haftarah booklets, and a special blessing based on their Torah portion.
  • B’nai Mitzvah Talk Back– Group attendance at a Bar or Bat Mitzvah service – usually a Saturday morning in the spring, followed by lunch and discussion to understand the flow of a Shabbat service at Beth David, with plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

9-10 months prior

  • Family meeting with Cantor
  • B’nai Mitzvah candidate will be assessed individually by the Cantor on their prayer skills (may occur the same day of family meeting) and a tutorial plan will be made accordingly
  • B’nai Mitzvah candidate decides on Mitzvah project

6 months prior

  • B’nai Mitzvah candidate will begin weekly private tutoring for 30 min on Tuesday afternoons at Beth David (during Religious School or just before/after)
  • Family contacts Executive Director to make arrangements, if desired, to use the Beth David facilities for a meal or party

5 months prior

  • B’nai Mitzvah candidate begins monthly check-ins with the Cantor for Torah & Haftarah (4 meetings total)

3 months prior

  • Family meeting with Rabbi
  • B’nai Mitzvah candidate begins meeting with Rabbi to begin writing D’var Torah (4 meetings total)

2 months prior

  • Family asks board member to sit on the bimah for Saturday service
  • If desired, family contacts Vid-Tel Video Services to secure date for filming service- see Vid-Tel form
  • Family asks friends/family to participate in Saturday morning service honors – see Honors Form & Instructions

1 month prior

  • Executive Director contacts parents to finalize all non-ritual logistics
  • Family meets with Cantor to go over Honors Form (may be done via email if your family has already been through the B’nai Mitzvah process at Beth David with an older child)

1 week prior

  • Student and family participate in final rehearsal in the Sanctuary – bring all materials, including the shoes you plan to wear!

Friday night prior

  • Family attends services and the B’nai Mitzvah candidate leads Kiddush (the Shabbat blessing over grape juice or wine) and Motzi (the prayer for the bread or challah).
  • Get lots of sleep that night!

Saturday morning

  • Family arrives early, excited, and ready for a wonderful day! (with all materials)
  • Some families take pictures before services, from 9-10 am (must be coordinated in advance with Executive Director)
  • Private tallit presentation begins at 10:15
  • Services begin at 10:30 in the sanctuary