B'nai Mitzvah

A cornerstone in a young jew's life is the first time they are called to the Torah as a B'nai Mitzvah.  Our Hebrew school curriculum guides students towards this milestone with a combination of group classes, community events, and private learning.

According to Jewish law, when Jewish children reach the age of maturity (generally twelve years for girls and thirteen for boys) they become responsible for their actions, and "become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah." Prior to this, the child's parents are responsible for the child's adherence to Jewish law and tradition, and after this age, children bear their own responsibility for Jewish ritual law, tradition, and ethics and are privileged to participate in all areas of Jewish community life.

The occasion of becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is marked with the young man or woman being called to the Torah for an aliyah for the first time and participating in leading the service, which may include reading the Torah and/or Haftorah portion at a Sabbath or other service, and giving a d'var Torah. Precisely what the Bar/Bat Mitzvah student does generally depends on his or her ability.

Preparation for a B’nai Mitzvah involves a course of study that begins in the early years of Hebrew School and culminates in the person being called to the Torah for the first time.


Members of the Shaar Shalom can refer to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Planning Guidelines.