Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah

At 13, Jewish children automatically become Bar Mitzvah (“son of the commandment”) or Bat Mitzvah (“daughter of the commandment”). In ancient days, this marked the child’s entry into adulthood. Over the centuries, the service in which a child demonstrates his or her newly acquired Hebrew skills by participating in a Shabbat service and reading from the Torah has taken on the same name: Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

At Temple Emanuel, it is our privilege and honor to celebrate this most significant event in your lives, the moment when your child becomes a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. To this end, we seek to involve your entire family in this process. As you study, talk and learn together, you will enrich your family’s experience of this wonderful family tradition.

Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a major accomplishment in our students’ lives. It is both a culmination of Hebrew language and liturgy instruction in preparation for leading the service and a continuation of lifelong commitment to Jewish living and learning. The decision to become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah affirms a positive Jewish identity and offers a wonderful opportunity to strengthen one’s ties to the Temple Emanuel and larger Jewish communities.

During services that include a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, our students lead prayers, offer their insights on the weekly Torah portion, chant from the Torah and Haftarah portions, and share details of their Mitzvah project in front of family, friends, and the congregation. Because each of our students is unique, we encourage children to work to their full potential and to participate in the service in ways that suit their abilities, skills and interests.