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B'Nei Mitzvah Program

Our Vision for B'nei Mitzvah
Becoming B'nei Mitzvah is a beautiful milestone on the road to Jewish adulthood. We help families mark this special occasion by preparing young people to lead the congregation in worship, read Torah and offer a d'var Torah - an interpretation of the Torah portion. Our rabbi, cantor and educator are there every step of the way ensuring a personal, warm, and meaningful approach to preparing for this important moment. During the 7th grade year, our students also participate in our service-learning Hineini program on Sunday mornings which brings them out into the community to serve others as they learn about our Jewish obligation to do community service. 

B’nai Mitzvah Boot Camp
B’nai Mitzvah Boot Camp, which meets concurrently with Hebrew School on Tuesday afternoons is our innovative program for training students for Bar and Bat Mitzvah. For approximately 5 or 6 month prior to the Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremony, students participate in two 45 minute sessions, (alternating one on one tutorial with group and independent study) and attend the weekly religious school community worship service.

I. What is Boot Camp?

1. When: On Tuesdays, students attend the 4 pm service with the Hebrew School, then participate in 2 Boot Camp Sessions, 4:30 – 5:10 and 5:10 – 5:45.

2. Where: Each week students will alternate between Schweitzer A for prayer (with Jane Dubro and Tami Stalbow) and Schweitzer B for parsha (Torah portion) with Cantor Meredith Stone and Cantor Elizabeth Goldmann. Michelle Briks will assist with either section as needed.

3. Regular attendance is important. In the weeks after your family meeting with Rabbi Goldsmith (see below) attendance is especially critical because students will work with the rabbi on the speech.

II. How does it work:

1. Students receive 2-3 short one -on- one tutoring sessions, which alternate with private study. This active study is just as important as the tutoring, as it provides the time to absorb and incorporate what has just been taught. Students should then have the skill and confidence for daily review at home.

2. Weekly assignments are written in the back of the BM Booklet. Assignments are expected to be completed by the following session.

3. In the weeks preceding the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, we will schedule ½ hour private sessions and bimah rehearsals. Toward the end, IF all materials are learned, students may no longer be required to stay for Boot Camp, but will still need to meet with the rabbi regarding their speech. The dress rehearsal with the rabbi and family ( 4 pm on the Monday prior to the BM) is normally the last time you come in before BM day.

4. Parents are welcome to drop by and observe both the Boot Camp and any private sessions with Cantor Stone or Cantor Goldmann.

III. How to learn and study:

1. Constant repetition of short sections is the best way to learn this material. The student will be shown how to do this.

2. The student’s phone may be used for recording and listening during the Boot Camp as well as at home.

3. At the back of the student’s booklet is our “covenant” outlining student expectations.

IV. Materials:

1. Students receive a packet with the following, which they must bring to each session: a. URJ Booklet with parsha (Torah portion) in Hebrew and English, Torah blessings, Haftarah blessing, and commentary. b. Prayer packet c. Photocopy of prayerbook to be used at the BM ceremony d. Section for student’s speech, to be handled by Rabbi Goldsmith e. Prayers and blessings will be recorded on the student’s phone. CD is available by request. V. Meetings with Rabbi Goldsmith: 1. Rabbi Goldsmith meets with each family approximately 10 weeks before the BM to: a. figure out honors b. begin the speech writing process

2. Prior to this meeting, families will receive by mail a packet from the office with information about assigning honors, and meeting times with the rabbi. It is essential that parents read over the honors material BEFORE the meeting.

3. Students should bring ALL of their materials to the family meeting

4. The rabbi meets with students during boot camp approximately 5 times between the family meeting and the BM rehearsal to work with them on their speech.

5. Once the student starts writing drafts, these should be EMAILED to Rabbi Goldsmith at at least 24 hours before each meeting. Use either MS word format or paste the text into the body of the email.

VI. Questions regarding length of parsha, chanting, or extenuating circumstances, etc.

Please see handbook/Cantor Stone 



Fri, June 22 2018 9 Tammuz 5778