At the end of 4th grade, students and their families chose among three tracks (My Israel, My Personal Prayer Journey, and Team Tzedek) to becoming b’nai mitzvah. In the My Israel track students cultivate a meaningful personal relationship with Israel’s history, culture, and people through traditional and experiential learning, both at the temple and on the ground in Israel. The temple partners with an Israeli educational tour company, creating a unique and personalized experience for each family. The tour culminates in a Bar/Bat Mitzvah service at a place which reflects the student’s interests and passions. With guidance from the clergy, each student and family composes a personalized prayer book. A variety of itineraries have been created ranging in both duration and cost, so that each family can choose the option that is right for them. A family may arrange for an individual Bar/Bat Mitzvah or join the family trip for a group B’nai Mitzvah. A clergy member attends the group family trip; should a family choose to do a private trip the tour company would recommend a rabbi if one from the synagogue is not in Israel at that time.
This track is designed for families who have made the conscious decision to travel to Israel for their child to mark becoming bar/bat mitzvah. The hope is that this option becomes more mainstream, as families see the life changing value of travel to Israel.
Grade levels: 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th
Learners: Children (pre-B’nai Mitzvah), Parents
Year Implemented: 2016
Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim
1100 family units
B’nai Mitzvah each year: 100+