At Shir Tikvah, b’nai mitzvah is about being prepared to be a Jewish adult beyond the big day itself. Beginning in the fifth grade, families participate in a two-year series of learning sessions that incorporate family conversations, art, and worship services. The curriculum enables children and their parents to: articulate their motivations for becoming b’nai mitzvah; envision what they want the ceremony to look like based on their learning styles and family needs; and begin to craft their future Jewish engagement. Children are expected to take responsibility for their preparations, including Torah & haftarah exposition, a d’var Torah, service preparation, and designing a personal project about something they would like to learn or accomplish. A core goal is that each child will know, on the day of their b’nai mitzvah, that they charted this course and the work is theirs to be proud of.
The experience of becoming b’nai mitzvah can be transformational for children and parents, and thus they all deserve to be nurtured and nourished.
Grade levels: 5, 6
Learners: Children (pre-B’nai Mitzvah)
Everyone in the target audience is required to participate in the program.
Year Implemented: 2014
B’nai Mitzvah each year: 25