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B'nai Mitzvah Eligibility

To be eligible for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Beth El Synagogue, a student must have been enrolled at BESTT from Grades 3-6 (and attending 2 days per week on a regular basis). Friedel Jewish Academy students are expected to attend BESTT. Kindergarten-Grade 2 should be here on Sunday mornings. Grades 3-7 should be here on Sundays and Wednesdays.

All students must be enrolled in BESTT for the year of their b’nai mitzvah, regardless of when the B’nai Mitzvah occurs.
If a student transfers from an equivalent school in another city or a different synagogue, the Director of Congregational Learning must evaluate a student entering the BESTT program after Grade 3 from another school in Hebrew reading skills.  If that new student’s Hebrew skills are not on a par with those of his/her classmates, a private Hebrew tutor must be secured at the parents’ expense plus regular attendance at BESTT classes is required 2 days per week.  If a Bar or Bat Mitzvah occurs during Grade 8, the student must be enrolled in the BESTT Grade 8 class.

Students who are enrolled and attending our Talmud Torah (on a full-time basis) at the time of their Bar or Bat Mitzvah, are eligible to participate in the following parts of the service in the following order:

- Aliyah (Torah Blessings), Torah Reading, Haftarah and accompanying blessings & Speech

Students who wish to lead parts of the Friday evening or Shabbat morning service are expected to attend one of the following programs on a regular basis prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date in order to learn the needed prayers and davening skills:

A.    Shabbat–Friday night and/or Saturday morning services
B.    Junior Congregation – the Hazzan teaches your child his or her Torah and Haftarah reading, not the services that are taught during BESTT classes and Junior Congregation services regularly.

Jews have always known that celebrating Shabbat is what makes us special and unique. Your Beth El family would like to give you a multitude of ways to teach Shabbat to your children and for you to celebrate with them. Make it a priority in your life and the life of your children. Come every Saturday or even just once a month. We know you will love being with us and watch your children grow into knowledgeable members of their Beth El Synagogue community.

Junior Congregation students will have opportunities to learn davening of Shabbat services through private tutoring sessions on Shabbat with our teen tutors.

The most natural way to learn prayer is to pray in the environment of the synagogue. In order to become comfortable with Beth El Synagogue melodies, regular, consistent attendance at Beth El Synagogue is necessary. To that end, the school committee has approved the institution of a Shabbat attendance policy.

  • Grades 3-4: A minimum of  8 Shabbat services per year
  • Grades 5-6: A minimum of 10 Shabbat services per year
  • Grade 7: A minimum of 12 Shabbat services per year

Students who meet these minimal requirements will be eligible for greater participation on the Shabbat of their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. All students who attend the minimums for their grade level will be recognized at the end of the school year.

The requirements may be fulfilled as follows:

1. Attendance at a Beth El Synagogue Friday evening service
2. Attendance at a Beth El Synagogue Shabbat morning service
3. Attendance at a Beth El Synagogue Junior Congregation (recommended path for B’nai Mitzvah readiness)
4. Attendance at a Beth El Synagogue Saturday evening services (Mincha, Ma’ariv, Havdalah)
5. Attendance at a Shabbat morning service at another synagogue (credit limited to two per year)

If these requirements are not met, there are other opportunities for having a Bar/Bat Mitzvah at Beth El Synagogue.  Saturday evening Mincha/Maariv services and/or Monday or Thursday mornings are available for an Aliyah.

Private Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutoring sessions with Hazzan Krausman will be limited to the instruction of Haftarah and Torah reading. If additional tutoring is desired, families may hire an approved tutor at their own expense.

Arrangements will be made on a case by case basis for students with special needs or conflicts due to geographical considerations.  The Rabbi and Hazzan will make the final determination to the extent of the child’s participation in the service.  A meeting for parents will be held two years in advance of a student’s upcoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah to discuss all details related to the B’nai Mitzvah training and synagogue policies.

Sat, May 21 2022 20 Iyyar 5782