On attaining the age of mitzvot, a Jew becomes responsible for observing the religious and ethical traditions of Judaism. A B’nai Mitzvah, therefore, is not the culmination of planning and study, but rather the beginning of an adult Jewish life. At Beth Jacob, we encourage you to think of B’nai Mitzvah as an important milestone along the continuum of Jewish life, but by no means an endpoint… (Expand section below to continue)

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On attaining the age of mitzvot, a Jew becomes responsible for observing the religious and ethical traditions of Judaism. A B’nai Mitzvah, therefore, is not the culmination of planning and study, but rather the beginning of an adult Jewish life. At Beth Jacob, we encourage you to think of B’nai Mitzvah as an important milestone along the continuum of Jewish life, but by no means an endpoint.  We believe that all children should continue their formal Jewish studies in either the Talmud Torah of St. Paul Midrasha or the Minneapolis Talmud Torah Bet Hamidrash.

The celebration of the B’nai Mitzvah is a milestone on the journey of being a lifelong learner.  Beth Jacob has embraced the understanding that we nurture our young people to become engaged learners who strive to continue filling their souls with Jewish knowledge as much leading up to this celebration as for the years beyond.  This is a central goal for the entire family as it is a family which together shares this journey of Jewish growth.

At Beth Jacob, as our students attain the age of religious responsibility, we ask all of our B’nai Mitzvah students to show commitment to the core values of our shul: TorahAvodah, and Gemilut Hasadim, in the following ways:

Torah (Torah is a sacred text that renews)

  • Read Torah
  • Chant Haftarah
  • Prepare and deliver a D’var Torah

Avodah (worship)

  • Function as a shaliach/sh’lichat tzibur (leading the congregation in prayer)
  • Participate in prayer by davening

Gemilut Hasadim (acts of loving-kindness)

  • Participate in Mitzvot that encourage exploration and growth in ritual and ethical behaviors, both individually and as a family

Beth Jacob B’nai Mitzvah Info

B’nai Mitzvah Scheduling
Education
The Role of Kehillat Shabbat
Preparation and Tutoring for B’nai Mitzvah
Additional Aspects of Preparation
Services the Week of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah

The B’nai Mitzvah Service
Other Aspects of Your Simcha

Kol Ya’akov B’nai Mitzvah Bio Guide
B’nai Mitzvah Skills Sheet

Whom Shall I Ask When I Have Questions?

In addition to this guide, many people at Beth Jacob can help you answer questions you may have about your B’nai Mitzvah experience.
Alex Locke, Executive Director, for questions concerning­ anything about use of the building, meals, or Kiddush lunch.
Rabbi Adam Rubin, Senior Rabbi, for questions concerning your family’s needs, kashrut, the meaning of your Torah portion, or ritual matters.
Rabbi Tamar Grimm, Rabbi Educator, for questions concerning learning towards the celebration of your simcha, including Family Life Cycle Workshops.

Online Readings

Putting the ‘Mitzvah’ Back into Bar and Bat Mitzvah – My Jewish Learning website
Between Sesame Street and Wall Street – Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis
Conspicuous Consumption at Jewish Functions – Rabbi Aryeh Shapiro

Books

Putting God on the Guest List: How to Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah by Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin
For Kids – Putting God on Your Guest List: How to Claim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah by Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin