BAR/BAT MITZVAH AT THE HEBREW CORNER
The Hebrew Corner offers a well rounded curriculum designed to help young Jews develop and strengthen their Jewish identity by studying Hebrew, Torah and Bible stories, blessings, prayers, mitzvah, Israel and Jewish history. The Hebrew Corner ultimately focuses on preparing youngsters for the traditional rituals of bar and bat mitzvah. We can also officiate at a venue of your choosing for your event.
The Hebrew Corner curriculum trains students for the rituals of bar/bat mitzvah according to the student’s abilities and the family’s values and requests. We can accomplish several ritual skills to prepare a youngster for bar/bat mitzvah, among them the following:
- Reading a Torah portion with cantillation from a Torah scroll
- Chanting the blessings before and after reading from a Torah scroll
- Chanting a haftarah portion and blessings (upon your request)
- Leading and reading several prayers, blessings and songs from the prayer book
- Writing an interpretive bar/bat mitzvah speech
The Hebrew Corner offers the opportunity to customize your bar/bat mitzvah experience. A curriculum will be designed based on your goals and your child’s abilities. Some children like to sing songs and blessings more than others, some like to write, some find it easier to master reading the Torah, and some like to do mitzvah projects: all of these activities can be tailored to fit your bar/bat mitzvah expectations.
The Hebrew Corner wants to reach out to those children whose special needs have excluded them from traditional religious school programs. We have a lot of patience and creativity in working with learning-challenged children. We would love to work with you to give your child an interactive Jewish education and make this Jewish milestone accessible to all!
CHOOSING A DATE
We do not assign bar or bat mitzvah dates except in consultation with you, if only because much depends on availability of your venue. However, we recommend choosing a bar/bat mitzvah that falls on or after your child’s 13th birthday according to the Hebrew calendar.Â We can find out your child’s Hebrew birthday, or you can find it yourself by using an online calendar converter such as http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/calendar/. For example, go to the Georgian calendar and plug in the date of birth January 27, 2000.Â Click to calculate and then scroll down to the Hebrew calendar, which will show the equivalent Hebrew calendar date, Shevat 20, 5760.Â Then add thirteen years to 5760 and type in 5773 in the Hebrew calendar box, and click to calculate.Â Scroll back up to the Georgian calendar again, where it will show that in 5773 (2013), Shevat 20 falls on January 31.Â Any Sabbath morning following this date, or any other occasion when the Torah is read (Sabbath afternoon, Monday or Thursday morning), is suitable for a bar or bat mitzvah date.Â Rosh Hodesh (the Hebrew new moon) is also a day in which the Torah scroll is traditionally read, and sometimes falls on a Sunday. Jewish tradition considers girls to attain bat mitzvah status by the age of twelve.Â However, most egalitarian Hebrew schools and synagogues today assign girls bat mitzvah dates according to their 13th birthday. We assume that our families desire a bat mitzvah for girls in their 13th year, but we will honor requests for earlier dates.
Mastering the material for a bat or bar mitzvah is often a challenge to both students and parents. Tears and frustration should not be a part of the process of meeting skill levels for this joyous family day. A synagogue rabbi, cantor or bar/bat mitzvah tutor may not be able to give your child all the time she or he needs. In that case The Hebrew Corner is available for supplementary private lessons to give your child extra support and encouragement to approach the big day with confidence. We can work with your cantor, bar/bat mitzvah teacher, and/or religious school to ensure coordination and mastery of material.
Cantor Avima Rudavsky Darnov and/or Rabbi Allen Darnov are available to help create and officiate at a service when your child celebrates attaining the age of bar/bat mitzvah. We have prayer books, a Torah scroll and portable ark to bring to your venue. You provide the space which can be inside your home, a tent in your backyard, a community center, a town firehouse, a community garden, a restaurant, country club or banquet hall. The service will include the traditional rubrics of the Jewish prayer, but will consider your particular needs and requests. We can include you in on planning the service and creating honors and participation for guests of all ages, both Jew and non-Jew.
Our goal is to tailor a service which will be traditional, spiritual, inspirational, and accessible to you and your guests
CONSIDERING A BAR/BAT MITZVAH IN ISRAEL?
Many families take the opportunity to deeply connect with the Land of Israel by celebrating their child’s bar or bat mitzvah in the homeland of the Jewish people. There are Reform and Conservative rabbis and cantors who are available to conduct your special service in a variety of locations in Israel. We can help connect you to these Jewish clergy and then assist you with arrangements and preparation for the service.