We encourage all our children to formally recognize their commitment to Jewish learning and life by being called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah (boys) or bat mitzvah (girls). Children are eligible to become a bar/bat mitzvah at Beth El:
- on or after turning 13;
- enrolling in Beth El’s or an equivalent Jewish educational program by fifth grade and completing a minimum of three years;
- participating in Beth El’s bar/bat mitzvah program;
- committing to continuing their Jewish education in the years ahead.
Our program is flexible to accommodate the learning styles and needs of our students and the unique circumstances of individual families. Please contact Debra Sagan Massey, Director of Education, if you have questions about the program or enrolling a student.
Young people – and adults – are called to the Torah as a Bar/Bat Mitzvah at the regularly scheduled Shabbat morning services of the congregation. During the service, the Bar or Bat Mitzvah student reads from the Torah, leads parts of the services and presents a teaching on the Torah portion. The student works closely with the Rabbis in the months leading up to the service to prepare their participation and shape a service which is personally authentic and meaningful. The congregation and community are invited to all Shabbat services at Beth El and any Shabbat service.
Adult B'nei Mitzvah
Adults who have never been called to the Torah as a Bar/Bat Mitzvah – and anyone who is at least 83 years old! – are invited to enroll in our Adult B’nei Mitzvah class. Under the direction of Rabbi Reuben Zellman, the Adult B’nai Mitzvah program class begins in the fall every other year; the new class begins in Fall 2012 and will be called to the Torah in Winter 2013. The Shabbat at which the adult B'nei Mitzvah class marks its achievement is an inspiring event for the entire congregation. It is never too late to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah! Our oldest graduate to date was 83 when he read from the Torah!
Confirmation : After completing their bar/bat mitzvah year, students enroll in Midrasha, our community Jewish high school program. Tenth grade students participate in Confirmation, a year long course of study and reflection taught by Rabbi Kahn. Our annual trip to Los Angeles is a highlight of year. At the end of the school year, we honor our students at a special Friday night service where the students speak and receive the blessings of the clergy and community.