B-Mitzvah: The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Journey
For sixth graders who are beginning to prepare for becoming a bar or bat mitzvah, Jewish Journeys offer B-Mitzvah Launch, an engaging year-long program that is a natural next step for JJP participants.
Learners attend a core two-hour weekly session and participate in several chesed projects during the year. They can also opt into JJP courses on weekday afternoons; attend weekend, monthly and school vacation Intensives; and continue to learn Hebrew through Hebrew Homepage.
This new program deepens the friendships and sense of community Jewish Journeys participants have developed over the years, while providing a more focused learning experience.
The B-Mitzvah program ushers your child into young Jewish adulthood and lays the groundwork for continuing active participation in the Jewish community.
You can join other Jewish Journey Project families in a beautiful and unique group ceremony, or have an individual celebration for your child with family and friends.
Whichever option you choose, your child will participate in a weekly two-hour class on leadership and advocacy, collaborate on a group advocacy project, and prepare an individual project in response to his or her Torah portion or a big Jewish question. They can also choose to take other JJP courses, participate in weekend and school vacation Intensives, and continue to study Hebrew with Hebrew Homepage.
The Components of B-Mitzvah Year
- Weekly Class: In the fall, the weekly two-hour class focuses on “Leadership: What We Can Learn From Our Jewish Past for Our Future” and an exploration of the Holocaust. In the spring, students learn about the Jewish community’s involvement in advocacy and the Jewish roots of advocacy. They adopt a cause and create an advocacy campaign. They also participate in two community service opportunities over the course of the year.
- Individual Project: A teacher/rabbi meets with your child monthly in your home to help your child choose, plan and create their individual project, which they will present at their B-Mitzvah ceremony. Learners can focus on their Torah portion or a question of philosophy, ethics, or history.
- Family Learning: B-Mitzvah children and parents come together four times during the year for family learning on Sunday afternoons for 1½ hours. This enables families and children to further their friendships and delve into Jewish learning together.
- The Group Off-the-Bimah Bar/Bat Mitzvah: At a beautiful communal ceremony in late May or early June, participants share their group advocacy project as well as the individual projects they have developed over the year. Participating families can invite a limited number of family members and friends to a brunch following the ceremony.
- Individual Off-the-Bimah Bar/Bat Mitzvah: A new option for families who want to celebrate with family and friends at an alternative, non-liturgical private ceremony. Learners participate in the same preparation as for the Group Bar/Bat Mitzvah, but the ceremony is private and is crafted with the family and B-Mitzvah student.
- If your child and family would prefer to prepare for a traditional Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony in the context of a prayer service with Torah reading, JJP staff can introduce you to local synagogues and to other community rabbis who work with students one-on-one.