Becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a rite of passage, a celebration of the joy of seeing our children growing to become young women and men. However, the Bnei Mitzvah celebrations are more than this.
At Beth Shalom, we work in many ways and over the years to encourage and help our children achieve educational and formational goals: knowledge of Jewish traditions and religion, familiarity and competence with synagogue services and prayer, skills to read directly from Torah and our holy texts, ability to derive life lessons from Torah, engagement in performing Mitzvot, participation in Jewish community life, a commitment to moral duties inspired by Judaism, and joy and pride in being a Jew. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony is the ritual by which we celebrate with the Bnei Mitzvah, their family and community, the progress each young woman and man has made in achieving all those essential and important goals.
A B’nei Mitzvah marks a young person’s entrance into Jewish adulthood and acceptance of the commandments of Judaism. One of these commandments is to help those who are less fortunate. Each B’nei Mitzvah student is highly encouraged to complete a tikkun olam or tzedakah project as part of his/her preparation. This could include giving a portion of gift money to a needy cause or spending some time completing a community or social action project.