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.
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.
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
Congregation Beth Ahabah
B’nai Mitzvah each year: 25