B'Nai Mitzvah Study
At Temple Beth Sholom, every B'nai Mitzvah event is a source of great pride for the entire community.
THE RIGHT OF PASSAGE
The literal meaning of Bar or Bat Mitzvah is Son or Daughter of the Commandment. Though this term is often used to refer to the ceremony itself, the term technically applies to the young person coming of age. According to Jewish tradition, a child attains the status of majority, or adult status, at the age of 13 years + 1 day for a boy, and 12 years + 1 day for a girl. Thereafter, a Jew is held personally accountable for religious observance.
PREPARING FOR THIS SPECIAL DAY
Young adults at TBS begin their formal preparation one year ahead of time. They begin with group study, which includes participating and assisting in weekly Erev Shabbat and Shabbat Torah services. The B'nai Mitzvah class meets once a week as a group.
One on one study with the Rabbi starts about 6 months prior to being called to the Torah. These meetings focus on more in-depth study of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah's individual Torah portion as well as discussion and exploration of Judaism itself.
BEING CALLED TO THE TORAH
At TBS, our Bar and Bat Mitzvah's are not only called to read from the Torah for the first time, they are also called upon to lead the congregation in both the Erev Shabbat and complete Shabbat Torah service. The skills and life lessons learned from this undertaking are deeply embedded in our young adults, and are ones that will be a part of who they are for the rest of their lives.
Being called to the Torah as a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is not only an important life experience for the Bar or Bat Mitzvah, but is truly an event that is revered and honored by our entire TBS community.
All of our b'nai Mitzvah candidates develop their own "mitzvah project" as part of their study and preparation to become an adult in the Jewish community. These projects range from raising money for the kids' favorite causes to actually doing volunteer work in the community. As a congregation, we all support the students as they go through this process of learning about caring for the world around them.
Some of the organizations that have benefitted from our students' mitzvah projects are:
- Willamette Valley Humane Society
- Marion Polk Food Share
- Nothing But Nets
- Helping Paws
- Swegle Elementary School
- Habitat for Hens