For religious education at Temple Sinai we see Bar & Bat Mitzvah as a unique milestone in the life of a child and a family, but not a final destination. At a time in their lives when they can feel so unsure of themselves in the world, becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah offers an experience that demonstrates a child’s competence and maturity. With great pride the temple community welcomes this young adult into the ritual life of the congregation.
Chazzan Abramson and Rabbi Huntting oversee our Bar/Bat Mitzvah program. At approximately one year prior to a child’s date, the family meets with the clergy to assess the child’s Hebrew proficiency. Tutoring and preparation will either begin at that time or a few months later. If a student is not progressing at a reasonable pace, the clergy reserve the right to reschedule the chosen date. Several months in advance, the student and family will meet with the Rabbi for help preparing the student’s D’var Torah, commentary on the week’s portion. Final rehearsals are scheduled by the Chazzan with the student on the bimah and the parents in attendance.
In the same way we hardly would expect our children to go into the world with only a 7thgrade education in English, math or science, all the more so we have not fulfilled our obligation to prepare our children for a Jewish life if their learning ends at Bar or Bat Mitzvah. We expect our students to continue in Religious School through Confirmation in 10th grade and to participate in congregational life in other age-appropriate ways, e.g., youth group, reading Torah on the High Holidays, and/or volunteering in the Religious School. It is our wish that the Bar/Bat Mitzvah experience at Temple Sinai prepares our students not just for one service, but for a rich and meaningful lifetime.