A child becomes B’nai Mitzvah on their thirteenth birthday plus one day. All efforts should be made to schedule the public service near that time. Beth Jacob Congregation has established the following fair and workable solution for assigning B’nai Mitzvah dates. The Education and Ritual Committees have endorsed the following formula:
1. Each child is guaranteed the Shabbat corresponding to the parasha (Torah portion) immediately following his/her Hebrew birth date. If there are two children whose B’nai Mitzvah would fall on the same date, then private consultation with the families, will work towards a resolution.
2. Any other date requests will be honored according to availability. If more than one child requests a specific available date, a lottery will take place for the date. This can include Rosh Hodesh, Monday or Thursday morning minyanim. If you are considering a non-Shabbat B’nai Mitzvah date, please discuss this with Rabbi Tamar Magil-Grimm at your earliest convenience.
Beth Jacob Congregation will make B’nai Mitzvah assignments based on the above-listed criteria. These assignments are made in late spring of our students’ fifth-grade year, and notification letters are sent to the students’ families at that time.
Guidelines for scheduling a B’nai Mitzvah on Selichot or a Festival
There are many options for scheduling your B’nai Mitzvah: on Shabbat morning or Shabbat afternoon, on a Yom Tov or Rosh Chodesh, or at Monday or Thursday morning services.
For Selichot: While a B’nai Mitzvah may be scheduled on Shabbat morning preceding Selichot, it is not appropriate to schedule a B’nai Mitzvah party on Saturday evening (when Selichot is recited).
For Yom Tov: Similarly, a B’nai Mitzvah scheduled for a festival, must ensure that a party does not coincide with the festival. For example, if a B’nai Mitzvah takes place on Shabbat morning, the first day of Sukkot, no party would be held until after sundown of day two, Sunday night. If a B’nai Mitzvah takes place on Shabbat of Hol Hamoed Sukkot or Passover, a party could take place on Saturday evening after Shabbat ends. Any celebration on Passover must be kosher for Passover