This gallery of B’nai Mitzvah Innovations profiles cutting edge approaches to B’nai Mitzvah.

First, begin your exploration of our six areas of experimentation with a button below.

Second, enjoy browsing through each of the snapshots in the collections.

Pre-B'nai Mitzvah Ceremony

On a Sunday afternoon a year before the bar/bat mitzvah, the family and the rabbi meet on the bimah for a pre-b’nai mitzvah ritual that marks the beginning of the preparation process. The ritual adds framing to the preparation process by addressing the values of b’nai mitzvah and what it means to take on the obligations associated with preparing for it. The rabbi and the student engage in dialogue, families are given space to ask questions, parents bless their child, and the child blesses his or her parents.

Lessons Learned

This ritual responds to families’ need to feel valued by the congregation, moving the b’nai mitzvah preparation beyond the mundane tasks and instead into the realm of sacred ritual. It brings each family together as they begin this part of the b’nai mitzvah journey.

Program Info

Grade levels: 6, 7

Learners: Children (pre-B’nai Mitzvah), Parents

Every family is invited to incorporate this ritual into their b’nai mitzvah preparation process.

Year Implemented: 2013


  • Innovative Ritual
  • Family Engagement

About Us

Congregation Beth Ahabah

Richmond, VA

650 members

Reform Congregation

B’nai Mitzvah each year: 25