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Bar/Bat Mitzvah Introduction
Congratulations on your upcoming simcha!
A Bar or Bat Mitzvah is an important lifecycle event for your family and for our congregation and we look forward to sharing in the process. The purpose of this information guide is to help families prepare for their Bar / Bat Mitzvah at Temple Beth-El.
Our professional staff is available to assist you throughout the planning stages of your simcha. If you would like to speak to a member of the staff, please call the Temple Beth-El Office at 933-2740. If you would like to contact us via email, our email addresses are as follows:
Rabbi Michelle Goldsmith
Cantor Daniel Gale
Bob Greenberg, Executive Director
Participation in Project Mishpacha is required for all children and parents whose children are having their Bar/Bat Mitzvah at Temple Beth-El. Sessions are held at Temple Beth-El on Sunday morning beginning with the Religious School morning service at 9:00am followed by Project Mishpacha. Please contact the Temple Beth-El Office for a list of dates for the current year.
One way to help put the "mitzvah" back into the Bar/Bat mitzvah is to practice Judaism in the home. Rabbi Goldsmith will be pleased to discuss ways in which you can make your Jewish home life richer and more meaningful.
Families can develop a deeper sense of meaning by using the Bar/Bat Mitzvah as an opportunity to observe the mitzvah of tzedakah (caring for those in need). Children are encouraged to set aside a portion of their gift money for tzedakah, and spend some time as a family discussing where that money should go. Other possibilities include donating a percentage of the money that you are spending on the Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration to Mazon, a Jewish fund for hunger. Literature on Mazon is available at the TBE Office.
As part of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah program children participate in various mitzvah projects. Rabbi Goldsmith discuss this in detail at the annual orientation meeting. Families should begin thinking about ways they can fulfill the mitzvah of "tikun olam", building a better world.
Each spring, a meeting is scheduled with all parents of children who will become Bar/Bat Mitzvah in the next academic year. This is an opportunity for members of the staff and lay leaders of the Temple to explain the program to you, as well as answer questions on all aspects of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah program.