Bar and Bat Mitzvah
Becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah represents a link in the chain of thousands of years of Jewish tradition, binding each generation to the past and to the future. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a thrilling time—not just for the student—but also for parents, grandparents and siblings. The B’nai Mitzvah students are publicly welcomed into the adult Jewish community.
The literal translation of “Bar/Bat Mitzvah” is “Son/Daughter of Commandments.” At the age of 13, young men and women become responsible for their own lives as Jews and for how they conduct themselves ethically and religiously. By leading parts of the Shabbat morning service, chanting a section of the Torah and another from the Prophets (the Haftarah portion), and by interpreting the readings for the congregation in a message called the drash, the young person demonstrates his or her knowledge and skill as a Jew. Of course, being a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is not a one-time experience, but a gradual process over many years.
At Temple Shir Tikva the road of Jewish learning is a lifelong process. Becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah is just one milestone on that road—a stop that occurs at an early age in one’s life. We therefore have invested in a dynamic Grade 7-12 program we call “Youth Community” as the next stop on the road of Jewish learning.