Becoming B’nai Mitzvah is a meaningful step along the path of a child’s Jewish education.  The process of becoming a B’nai Mitzvah occurs over several years (and includes:)

  • Enrollment in Berkman Mircaz Limud
  • 4th Grade information and date choosing meeting
  • Series of 6th Grade Orientation meetings and Cantilation Class with the Cantor
  • Family meeting with Rabbi Maderer
  • Personalized tutoring
  • Final Preparation with the Cantor
  • Two Family Meetings with Rabbi Freedman
  • A Final Rehearsal in the Sanctuary

In addition, please consider: 

  • It is never too early to start the Jewish learning that will aid students in preparation for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  At the very least students are required to be enrolled in Berkman Mercaz Limud, the synagogues religious school from 4th-6th grade, though we encourage enrollment at all ages.  You can learn more about Berkman Mercaz Limud here. Berkman Mercaz Limud also offers Midweek Hebrew classes for no extra charge and we encourage all future B’nai Mitzvah students to take advantage of this so they have a solid Hebrew foundation when it comes time to learn to chant Torah

  • The school also offers supportive meetings for students and parents as well as a series of sixth grade orientation meetings which can be invaluable.

  • An important part of your B’nai Mitzvah journey begins with a meeting with our Senior Rabbi, Jill Maderer. She will help get families familiar with the process and answer any questions you may have.
  • 6 months before their Bar/Bat Mitzvah date each student is assigned a tutor who will work with them one on one. They will meet with them weekly and go through each verse and prayer to ensure they are ready to lead their service. If your child has any particular studying needs or considerations, you are encouraged to reach out to Cantor Hyman to learn of opportunities made available to your child. You can learn more about our tutors here. 

  • As each student engages in tutoring they are also engaging in a B’nai Mitzvah service project.  The projects that students choose will vary, but always relate to the theme of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. 

  • About 6 weeks before the date of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah the student will stop meeting with their tutor and will start having personal lessons each week with the Cantor.  He will help the student finalize their preparation of chanted materials and create a clearer picture of what the service will look and feel like. 

  • The family of the student will also have 2 individual meetings with Rabbi Friedman during  the weeks immediately before the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date.  

  • Congregation Rodeph Shalom also has a full rehearsal for each Bar/Bat Mitzvah and their families the week before the service so they can ensure that everyone is ready and that the big day runs smoothly.

  • On the day of, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah will lead the service along with the clergy and chant from the Torah, being called for their first time to the Torah as an Aliyah. They can chant from the corresponding Haftarah portion and they will also give a D’var Torah or short teaching about what they have learned from their portion.  The whole congregation welcomes and recognizes  them as full members of the community and a member of the Board will present them with personalized gifts to commemorate their celebration.

  • In appreciation for all of your student’s hard work, commitment to becoming a Jewish adult and personal collaboration with our clergy, it is customary to make a donation. For a list of giving opportunities, please click here or contact Jeff Katz directly at