Bar and Bat Mitzvah

Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is an important step in the spiritual growth of a young Jewish person. The words, “Bar” or “Bat” Mitzvah mean - son or daughter of the Commandment. Our hope is that in learning Jewish prayers, customs, history and teachings, our children will come to identify Jewish values as a source of guidance and ennoblement in their lives.

At Temple Ahavat Shalom becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is one part of the continuum of Jewish learning. The purposes of this life cycle event are to enhance the child’s self-esteem and to help nurture an identification with his or her Jewish community. Family participation is vital to the success of these endeavors.

Approximately five (5) weeks prior to your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony, a series of meetings with Rabbi Klein will be arranged to establish a more personal relationship and to help your child prepare his/her speech. During the last week, Rabbi will meet with your family to review ceremony participation and honors. The Rabbi is responsible for the content and conduct of each service guiding each family in making it a memorable, holy and beautiful experience. He provides guidelines to tutors and teachers. Rabbi meets privately with each Bar and Bat Mitzvah family to make sure that all questions are answered and everyone is prepared for the service. His meetings include a walk through in the sanctuary of the entire service.

In preparation for Bar and Bat Mitzvah, beginning in the sixth grade,we introduce Torah trope in the classroom to all our students as well as review specific prayers. Children will also be taught to chant Haftarah using the traditional trope system. If your child would like to chant extra Torah portions, please let our Bar/Bat Mitzvah Coordinator, Barbara Smith, know.

Barbara Smith coordinates the Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation program and is our primary tutor, working with each student on prayer, the Hebrew reading of all materials and in teaching the chanting of the Haftarah and reviewing the chanting of prayers.

Please feel free to contact Barbara Smith, our Bar/Bat Mitzvah Coordinator at 727-785-8811 or email blsmith@tampabay.rr.com

B'nei Mitzvah Resources

The Art of Torah Cantillation - A Step-by-Step Guide to Chanting Torah by Cantor Marshall Portnoy and Cantor Josee Wolff
This unique, step-by-step book and compact disc package will lead the novice through each step of learning how to chant Torah. Divided into 13 lessons and additional useful appendices and bibliography, the book allows the reader to 'self-teach' the important principles of Torah cantillation. The only pre-requisite for this course of learning is a basic ability to read Hebrew and a willingness to learn! Includes CD of corresponding recordings.

Making it Count: Guidelines for Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah
This guide is designed to help you make the most of your Jewish journey. Focusing on the values that are most important in our tradition, you will explore together what commitments you can make to bring these principles to life. Judaism has a lot of special wisdom to offer, but only you can make it real.

Torah and Haftarah MP3s
Use your iPod for your Bar and Bat Mitzvah preparation: Torah and Haftarah portions available for download as MP3 files.