“Bar” is the Aramaic work for “son.” “Bat” is the Hebrew word for “daughter.” “Mitzvah” in Hebrew means “Commandment.”
Becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is an important and significant milestone for a young Jewish man or woman, his or her family, and our Jewish community. Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah is not just a ceremony and party or celebration. It is an age when children reach thirteen years on the Hebrew calendar. In our synagogue, children are required to attend Religious School where they receive instruction in Hebrew, Judaica, prayers, and finally Bar/Bat Mitzvah instruction. This instruction starts about six months prior to the date of the Bar/Bat service with our Cantor Nussbaum.
Our children participate in the services, are called to the Torah, recite a Haftorah portion, and complete a Mitzvah project which is under the direction of Rabbi Silverman. Parents attend Bar/Bat Mitzvah meetings and are informed of the whole process. In addition, they are given a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Guide which answers many of the questions that parents have about this process, its celebration, catering, flowers, etc.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah represents a beginning – not an ending. At this time, the Jewish community accepts them into the adult world. They are counted in our minyan, may be asked to or be called to the Torah on Shabbat and may attend mid-week minyans. We believe that a student does not complete his or her Jewish education at their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. We encourage our children to attend post Bar/Bat Mitzvah Jewish education and participate in Youth Group activities.
If you have any questions regarding Bar/Bat Mitzvah, feel comfortable in calling the synagogue, Rabbi Silverman, Cantor Nussbaum, Melissa Kurtz - Vice President of Education, Robin Kain – Vice President of House Administration, or Marc Schweitzer – Vice President of Ritual. All of this information is in your Bar/Bat Mitzvah Guide.
Mazel Tov on your journey.