Bar and Bat Mitzvah

To be called to the Torah as a Bar or Bat Mitzvah (meaning “son” or “daughter of the commandment”) marks a significant milestone in the journey from childhood to maturity for Jewish boys and girls. At Temple Sholom, we strive to ensure that each child and his/her family will experience the spiritual power of this ceremony in a positive, meaningful way.

In preparation for Bar/Bat Mitzvah our students take part in a variety of activities designed to deepen their understanding of Judaism. They engage in study with the synagogue’s B’nei Mitzvah tutor, Kathe Izen-Mondlak, in order to learn how to conduct the worship service and chant their Torah and Haftorah portions. They participate in social action projects which enhance their awareness of their responsibilties as Jews. And, along with their parents, they attend the synagogue’s innovative Al Shlosha Devarim Program where they have an opportunity to learn with the Rabbis and bond with other families in the B’nei Mitzvah year.

A month prior to Bar/Bat Mitzvah, each student meets with one of the Rabbis for four sessions. During this time, they become acclimated to the pulpit, rehearse reading from the Torah, and practice the prayers and their drosh (sermon).

Our goal is to give every child a victory. We treat every student as an individual, providing whatever is needed to ensure that each B’nei Mitzvah is a wonderfully warm and fulfilling occasion.

Downloadable B’nai Mitzvah Handbook 5777/2016-2017

For more information about Bar and Bat Mitzvah study at Temple Sholom, please contact the synagogues’s Executive Director, Rochelle Garfinkel.


Participation in a social action “mitzvah project” is an inherent part of every Bar and Bat Mitzvah experience at Temple Sholom. Our B’nai Mitzvah tutor Kathe Izen-Mondlak recommends these tzedakah links to help generate ideas for these projects:

Areyvut – Many ideas for mitzvah projects.
New Mitzvah Heroes Fund – Inspired by the work and teachings of Danny Siegel.
Do Something – Great interactive site with project finder.
HAMA – Dedicated to child and family development by use of Animal Assisted Therapy, education, and enrichment activities.
INTRA – The Israel National Therapeutic Riding Association.
Girlfriends of Fallen Soldiers – Psychological Support Membership Association of Fallen Soliders
Dental Volunteers for Israel – Free dental clinic in Jerusalem for disadvantaged children and youth-at-risk.
Atzum – Endeavors to open eyes and extend hands to those in need, to confront and remedy injustices in Israel.
Bet Hayeled – This group home serves orphaned children or children from abusive homes who have been referred by the Israel’s social service network.
Crossroads – The Crossroads Center runs the sole intervention program targeting English-speaking youth at-risk in Israel.
Libby Reichman – Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
Ruthie Sobel Luttenberg – Every child deserves a birthday party.
CLICK – Community Leadership and Intervention of Crisis for Kids and the Elderly.
Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind
Israel Guide Dog Mitzvah Club 
Chai Lifeline – Helping Canadian families battling pediatric illness.
A Package From Home – Care packages for Israeli combat soldiers.
Agahozo Shalom Youth Village – Creating a safe and structured residential community for orphaned children in Rwanda.
ALEH – Caring for Israel’s Disabled, Together
Carmei Ha’ir – Creating a comprehensive framework of support for the poor in a dignified way.
Etgarim – Helping physically challenged children, adolescents and adults to rehabilitate themselves physically, mentally and socially, through challenging sports and outdoor activities.
Hazon – Creating a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community as a step towards a healthier and more sustainable world for all.
Help Darfur Now – Raising awareness of and funds for the victims of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan.
The Jade Bar Shalom Books for Israel Project – Bringing gently used good quality English books to school libraries in Israel.
Maya Works Weaving Cooperative – MayaWorks is a nonprofit social venture that empowers indigenous women of Guatemala to achieve economic security by providing markets for their handcrafted products, access to microcredit loans and expanded educational opportunities.
Myriam’s Dream – Craft Kits and ideas for raising funds.
Free the Children – Helping children through education.
Yad Ezra V’Shulamit – The organization provides assistance to people and families of dire need throughout the country, with the support of many.