A Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a public acknowledgement that a boy or a girl has become a responsible adult member of the Jewish community. It is an important step in both the transition into adulthood and the acceptance of responsibility for one's own actions. During the course of that service, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah is given the opportunity to demonstrate that he or she has acquired the skills to fulfill the obligations of a Jewish adult.
It is important to keep in mind that the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony is part of a regular service of the congregation at which a portion of the Torah is read. It is not, and should not be thought of, as a separate private ceremony only for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah family.
The Bar/Bat Mitzvah brings honour to himself or herself by the manner in which he or she participates in the service. Students are expected to be well prepared before being given permission to participate in the service. As a traditional conservative congregation, the level of participation in the service is dependent on the gender of the student.
The Bar/Bat Mitzvah at Shaare Zedek congregation is an event for the Shaare Zedek Congregation as well as for the family. The entire congregation looks forward to sharing the joy as our children become young adults. We encourage celebrations following the services to be consistent with the occasion and in keeping with the sanctity of the day and environment.
Congratulations on this significant and sacred moment in your lives. We hope that by reading this manual and using it as a guideline, you'll become better acquainted with the Bar/Bat Mitzvah process at Shaare Zedek Congregation.
Contact Julian Lewin, our Executive Director for further details.