B'Nei Mitzvah Rules
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Customs & Rules.
If a boy or girl wishes to have a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah in the Synagogue they and their family will need to commit themselves to the following program for a period of approximately 2 years before their Bar or Bat Mitzvah takes place. The Bar/Bat mitzvah date is booked only on the basis that these requirements are understood and accepted by the family.
There shall have been, immediately prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date, at least 2 years continuous attendance by the youngster at Religion School.
When attending on Shabbat the child will also be expected to read a study passage, lead the Shema, read the Ten Commandments or act as Junior Warden. This will be performed on a rotational basis and a list of dates for these tasks will be sent to parents at regular intervals.
These are the basic requirements of the Synagogue for a Bnei Mitzvoth to take place in the synagogue. However they are flexible and we do try and accommodate people's wishes so far as possible, but this flexibility is intended to deal with genuine problems rather than situations where attendance on the relevant occasion is regarded as secondary to doing some other activity e.g. playing sport on a Saturday morning rather than attending Synagogue.
If there are any problems during the process we expect you to speak to the Senior Warden, Head Teacher or the Rabbi.
To begin the process you need to talk to the Senior Warden to get a date and arrange a teacher for the child’s portion. The sooner you do this the more likely you are to get the date you want. During the program we would encourage the whole family to become as involved as possible as this helps to maintain contact and ensure everything proceeds smoothly.
The children's progress and attendance will be monitored throughout the program. However it is not a competition, there is no minimum or maximum standard and each child is given what we believe will stretch them but is within their capability.
Generally on the day they take part of the service, read a portion from the Torah, given a talk on their portion and do a study passage.
We do this because we believe (and experience has shown this to be correct) that in order to get the most out of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah there should be a commitment of this nature rather than merely turning up on the day and giving a performance. In our experience, even when initially reluctant, all the children enjoy the program and end up getting a great deal out of it.
At Sukkat Shalom we expect the family of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah to be familiar with the community. We
are unhappy if the parents of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah are strangers to the congregation on the day.
The parents of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah should try to contribute to the life of the synagogue in someway
during the period leading up to the day.
During the ceremony, the child will make a solemn promise before the Ark to continue Jewish learning throughout his/her life.
Parents may wish to make a gift to the synagogue in order to celebrate the event. This could be a general donation or specific gift i.e. new prayer books.
If the program is not followed by regular attendance you may be asked to delay your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
Should a Bar/Bat Mitzvah have to be postponed due to non compliance with the above rules the synagogue cannot be held responsible for the cost of the cancellation of any celebration that has been organised in conjunction with the Bar/Bat Mitzvah