Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Eligibility, Requirements and Expectations
  1. All children, whose families are members in good standing of Temple Israel.
  2. The child has completed at least five years of religious school, two days a week at B’Yachad, our joint religious school or is enrolled at the Hebrew Academy.
  3. Regular attendance at Shabbat services for at least one year prior to the scheduled individual Bar/Bat Mitzvah (Friday evening and/or Saturday morning). This will familiarize the child with the service and make him/her comfortable in this setting.
  4. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah is encouraged to attend Sunday morning minyan at 8:30 a.m. for at least 2 months before his/her Bar/Bat Mitzvah to learn to don t’fillin and participate in the weekday shacharit service
  5. Parents are expected to fulfill their roles in this program.
  6. Financial obligations – Bar/Bat Mitzvah fee/sponsored kiddush
  7. A Mitzvah project – a special certificate
  8. Meetings with the Rabbi and Cantor
  9. Must have reached the traditional age of mitzvot:
    1. Boys – Age 13 as determined by his Hebrew birthday,
    2. Girls – Age 12 as determined by her Hebrew birthday

Bar and Bat Mitzvah Contract

Student’s Responsibilities

1. The student shall attend all scheduled lessons with Cantor Marx and Rabbi Eligberg.
2. The student shall bring to each appointment Bar/Bat Mitzvah materials
3. Bar Mitzvah students shall wear kippot during their appointments.
4. The student shall study thirty minutes daily and work ahead whenever possible.
5. With the assistance of Rabbi Eligberg, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah shall prepare a D’var Torah (Speech), which shall be completed and in final draft form a minimum of one month prior to the scheduled date of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
6. The student shall finish learning everything for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Service at least one month in advance of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. (The last month is for the purpose of review, rehearsing, and building confidence.)
7. The student will attend with his/her parents a minimum of twelve Shabbat services during the year prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

Parents’ Responsibilities

1. Parents will ensure that their child arrives to all Bar/Bat Mitzvah appointments on time.
2. Parents agree to make sure their child is studying thirty minutes every day.
3. In the event an appointment needs to be cancelled, parent(s) shall call/email Cantor Marx not less than 24 hours before the scheduled lesson.
4. If your child is sick, we would appreciate you arranging to have their appointment over the phone or Skype. Children with the sniffles or sore throats will be turned away.
5. We encourage parents to attend their child’s appointments.
6. In the event that a parent is unable to attend the lesson, please feel free to contact Cantor Marx so you can monitor your child’s progress.
7. Parents agree to submit the Honors and Aliyot List, student photo, and bio for the Israelight according to the timelines laid out in the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Handbook.
8. Parents will attend with their child a minimum of twelve Shabbat services during the year prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
9. Parents agree to ensure their child is appropriately dressed at their bar/bat mitzvah.
For girls –Strapless and/or backless dresses are considered inappropriate for services and should not be worn.
10. Parents agree to fulfilling the Eligibility Requirements of Temple Israel. Failure to fulfill the synagogue’s policy shall result in an immediate cancellation of the scheduled date of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

Expectations and Opportunities
1. Every Bar/Bat Mitzvah learns the Torah and Haftorah blessings, haftorah, maftir, Kiddush and Aleinu.
2. Additional parts of the service (Torah Readings, Shacharit, etc.) may be assigned when the previous assignments are completed.


For the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Handbook, CLICK HERE!

1. Know what to expect – both practically and emotionally
2. Avoid surprises
3. Answer questions
4. Know what questions still need to be asked
5. Get an idea of upcoming timelines
6. Know what to do and when and where to do it



Kibbudim/Honors and Aliyot

Parents must complete the Kibbudim/Honors Sheet and present it to the rabbi for review at least two weeks prior to the simcha. The family of the Bar / Bat Mitzvah is given the following honors for distribution to family and friends:

1. Four Aliyot* plus the Maftir which is reserved for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah
2. Hagbah – Lifting the Torah is an honor that can be assigned by the Bar/Bat Mitzvah family, however, their choice needs to be approved
3. G’lilah – Dressing the Torah (one person)
4. Opening the Ark Doors/Curtains – Taking Out the Torah (two people)
5. Opening/Closing the Ark Curtains – Returning the Torah (two people)
6. Opening/Closing the Ark Curtains/Doors – Shir Hakavod (two people)

For the Honors Form CLICK HERE
For the Aliyot Form CLICK HERE