From the Rabbi
Welcome to an adventure! The months of preparation for bar/bat mitzvah are a time of spiritual, emotional, intellectual and relational growth for parents and their emerging teen kids. The passageway from childhood into adolescence does not have a defined beginning and end, yet the process of becoming a bar or bat mitzvah can help you and your child long the way.
That’s why this lifecycle celebration is so important – it helps your child and your family to make the most of the potential for learning and transformation as you each go through the changes of this time in your lives.
We offer a process of learning that helps children to feel confidence and accomplishment; both are important for their sense of themselves in adolescence. Our Hebrew School and synagogue programs provide Jewish experiences and learning which helps emerging teens to begin to see the world through Jewish values, history and culture. Along the way, we will be providing basic synagogue skills for Shabbat worship. Your child will learn to chant selections from Torah, Haftarah, and core Jewish prayers. Since these skills are best learned by repetition and context, we strongly encourage you to attend Shabbat morning services as often as possible in the months leading up to your child’s bar/bat mitzvah. This can have a powerful impact on the quality of your child’s learning.
We invite you to attend a series of special family workshops led by me for b’nai mitzvah preparation that provide both content and process for you and your child to get the most out of the experience. We hope you will make every effort to attend these workshops which begin during Kitah Hey (5th grade) and continue periodically until early Kitah Zayin (7th grade.) Here you will learn together: the “how” of the skills for the bar/bat mitzvah service, the “what” and the “why” of the bar/bat mitzvah service and celebration and the dynamics of this lifecycle event’s passages. I look forward to learning with you in these workshops.
Then we will meet as individual families in preparation for your child’s Devar Torah. I will help your child to think about the lessons of the week’s Torah and Haftarah portions, and explore their own ideas for how to apply these lessons. We will also practice presentation so your child can confidently present the Devar Torah speech.
We hope this is a time of excitement, learning, growth and joyous celebration of Jewish identity. We are grateful that you have become part of the Ohavi Zedek family. Please let me know how I can be helpful at any time. I look forward to spending time with you.