B'nei Mitzvah

Bar/Bat Mitzvah

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:

  1. on or after turning 13;
  2. enrolling in Beth El’s or an equivalent Jewish educational program by fifth grade and completing a minimum of three years;
  3. participating in Beth El’s bar/bat mitzvah program;
  4. 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 the Director of Youth & Family 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

First Meeting — Wednesday, November 6, 7:30–9:00 pm

Do you ever feel uncomfortable sitting in services — assuming that everyone else has it all figured out? Did you miss out on the opportunity to become bat or bar mitzvah as a 13-year-old? Would you like to deepen your sense of connection to and understanding of Jewish text and community?

The next cycle of Beth El's Adult B'nei Mitzvah class is about to begin! Considering joining us but still feeling uncertain? Please come to our first meeting to learn more about our process and to meet other members of the new cohort. No prior Hebrew or chanting knowledge is required. Questions? Contact rabbistern@bethelberkeley.org.


: 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.