Bar/Bat Mitzvah program
In Bet Israel
Welcome to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah program of Bet Israel, the Conservative congregation of Netanya. Bet Israel is proud to present a special, emotional, open, egalitarian and enjoyable program in which the boy or girl is central together with the family. The program includes basic concepts of Judaism, practical tools for navigating in any synagogue, and the preparation needed for getting called to the Torah.
At the end of the process is the Bar or Bat Mitzvah, calling the child to the Torah, in a ceremony that is moving, traditional, egalitarian and family-oriented.
The program includes:
Ten group meetings, two of them with parents
Learning trope for Torah reading
Assistance in writing a sermon
Assistance in learning the appropriate Torah reading
Learning to lay tefillin, and a tefillin-laying ceremony before the Bar or Bat Mitzvah
Being called to the Torah in a ceremony that is moving, traditional, egalitarian and family-oriented, followed by a kiddush with the family and any friends the family chooses to invite.
How does it work?
Meeting the coordinator:
At this meeting the family will be presented with the details of the program and various options for holding the ceremony. If the meeting was not held before the start of the course, it can occur later.
Setting a date for the Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony:
In order to get the date you want, it's advisable to make arrangements well in advance. The ceremony can take place after the birthday!
At weekly group meetings and also private tutoring, the children learn the trope - the special symbols that mark the tune for Torah reading. Every boy and girl will get his or her individual Torah portion, with an audio recording and clear explanations how to prepare to chant it. It usually takes five or six weeks to learn. We accompany each child through the learning process, helping and encouraging as needed according to the pace and abilities of each individual.
Writing a sermon:
We encourage every child to write his or her own speech to be given as part of the ceremony, but this is not required. One meeting of the group is devoted to the subject of writing a sermon. We accompany each boy and girl throughout the process, paying attention to his or her individual needs. We recommend beginning to write about a month before the Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
One group meeting is devoted to laying tefillin. This meeting is usually together with parents. Participants learn about the tefillin, and end by putting them on under the supervision of an experienced prayer leader.
A few days before the Bar or Bat Mitzvah, there will be a rehearsal together with the coordinator. The boy or girl and his/her family will go over the various parts of the service, and will decide who will get called to the Torah or have other honors.
The Bar/Bat Mitzvah:
At the end of all the preparations, the boy or girl is called to the Torah in a ceremony that is moving, traditional, egalitarian and family-oriented. It includes prayers sung to traditional tunes, the Torah reading, blessings and speeches, and a sermon. It can be held Monday or Thursday during the daylight hours, or Shabbat (Saturday) morning or afternoon.
Although the group meetings offer a meaningful experience, it is also possible to arrange private lessons.