“Ritual, like precedent, is a footprint left by the encounter between humanity and divinity...
Footprints like these deserve to be followed.”
(Shalom Spiegel. “Amos vs. Amaziah.” 13 Sept. 1957)
A Bar or Bat Mitzvah means a “Son or Daughter of the Commandments.” While originally, these were passive coming-of-age moments, today becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is indicative of a two-fold interactive process: obtaining deeper knowledge of one’s Jewish identity and assuming greater responsibility for shaping that identity.
Traditionally, the door to this exploration of identity and responsibility opened at age 12 years for females and at age 13 years for males. Thing is... it never closes! So, whether you are 12, 52, or 102, it is never too late to step through the door and partake in the lasting worth of this spiritual journey.
The journey, taken with KEIRUV’s Rabbi, begins with finding out what you and/or your child want to gain. What are yours/your child’s hopes? What do you/your child envision? Just as God commanded Abraham to “lech l’cha / go for yourself” (Genesis 12:1), it is critical that there is some personal motivation to this journey.
Once understood, the training will begin. Training sessions — held in-person or remotely — typically occur once a week and continue for approximately 7-9 months. Precise timeframe varies depending upon the student’s prior knowledge and abilities. Even if the student has never been exposed to Hebrew prayer before, becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is still very much achievable!
Every student going on this journey will gain the knowledge of leading a Jewish prayer service, reading from a Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll), and crafting as well as delivering a d’var Torah (sermon/speech). Objectives’ specifics can be adjusted to align with student’s abilities. But, more importantly than those outcomes, it is the goal of KEIRUV that our Bar/Bat Mitzvah students acquire skills that will help them in all areas of their lives (good study habits, accountability, establishing and working towards long-term goals, public speaking, etc.) and obtain a deeper love for their Jewish identities.
FEE: None (except expense reimbursement). However, KEIRUV will ask you for a “Pay-It-Forward” Donation to help other families, couples, individuals in need. To find out more, visit our DONATE page or connect with us via our CONTACT page. Thank you!
“I am so thrilled that [my son] is loving this process so much. He cannot wait to tell me about the lessons and even said he wishes all of his teachers were as engaging as you are :) Thanks again for all of the hard work; it is much appreciated! BTW, you are a total hero in my sons eyes and I’m so delighted that he has such an inspiration for a role model!! (H.G.)
"There definitely is a need for an alternate to Temple membership, as we were really struggling with the uncertainty of how to incorporate Judaism and, most importantly for us at this point in our lives, how we were going to help our child participate in the ceremony of becoming a Bat Mitzvah. So, just knowing that there is an option out there is a comfort." (J.M.)
"I certainly wouldn't work this hard, if you didn't make this so much fun!" (E.G.)
"Three weeks later and I am still in awe of the beautiful service your led our daughter through as she became a Bat Mitzvah. It honestly was the most natural, authentic, uplifting, and heart-felt service I have been to in a long time! Thank you! With that, working with you over the past year was great and easy as well. I appreciate that not only did you prepare our daughter to lead her community in prayer, you taught and inspired so much of her Jewish identity along the way. Thank you!" (S.V.)