1. B’nai Mitzvah at T&V
2. Setting a Date
3. Tutoring and Educational Programs
4. Bar/Bat Mitzvah Fees
8. A Gift
9. Torah Reading
11. Personalized Pamphlets
Preparing for Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah?
B’nai Mitzvah at T&V
Mazal Tov upon reaching this milestone in your child’s life!
We look forward to sharing your simcha and celebrating with you. We hope that this guide will help make the experience more enjoyable for you and your family. A Bar/Bat Mitzvah Timeline will also be provided to further help you plan for the event.
Setting a Date
Your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah date is set by Cantor Postman when the child is in fifth grade. To discuss your date or make changes, please contact Cantor Postman. Please note that each member enjoys his or her own Bar/Bat Mitzvah date however, other celebrations may occur on the same date (e.g., baby naming, aufrufs, etc.). While most Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies happen on Shabbat morning, there are other options which can be discussed with Cantor Postman.
Families should be members in good standing of Town & Village Synagogue for a minimum of three years.
Tutoring and Educational Programs
At Town & Village Synagogue, we work with each Bar/Bat Mitzvah student and family to determine the best path for that student. B’nei mitzvah study one-on-one with each of our clergy. They work with Cantor Postman to prepare the chanting of the Haftarah, Torah and parts of the service and also with Rabbi Sebert to prepare a D’var Torah – speech commenting on the Torah or Haftarah portion.
Children are encouraged to begin their Jewish schooling at a young age so that Jewish learning and living are a natural part of their lives. Families and 5th-7th grade students are required to participate in T&V’s engaging B’nei Mitzvah program, which includes attending services and participating in other meaning learning experiences with their peers. Children preparing for Bar and Bat Mitzvah are expected to be involved in an approved Jewish educational program.
The Bar/Bat Mitzvah family sponsors a catered Kiddush/Reception for their guests and the congregation in the Bierman Social. Kiddush options are available at a number of price points. Please contact Cheryl Gross, T&V’s catering manager, for the list of approved caterers. Families who have a ceremony at a time other than Shabbat morning sponsor a Shabbat morning Kiddush to celebrate with the congregation. Contact Esther Schwalb to set the date.
Customarily, families order inscribed Kippot for this celebration. Please bring Kippot to the synagogue office the week before the Bar/Bat Mitzvah (we have baskets available). Please provide bobby pins as well.
Some families order flower arrangements for the bimah and for Kiddush tables. Please contact Esther Schwalb before ordering.
Many Bar/Bat Mitzvah families choose to give the synagogue a gift in honor of both the occasion and the personal support provided by the rabbi, the cantor and other members of the synagogue. Please contact Esther Schwalb in advance. She’s happy to discuss options.
At T&V we believe everyone in our community, should enjoy this wonderful family simcha regardless of financial circumstance, so please speak to Esther Schwalb if you have any financial concerns.
Family members and special guests may want to share in the simcha by reading Torah. Please arrange this with the Cantor – 6 months in advance.
One month in advance of your child’s service, please contact Sharon Steinberg, Ritual Committee Chair. She will help you distribute honors to close relatives and friends. Honors include: Aliyot to the Torah, raising and binding of the Torah, opening the ark, carrying the Torah, and readings in either Hebrew or English. Honors for non-Jewish participants are also available. Families provide Hebrew names of those being called to the Torah prior to the day and indicate if they are a Cohen or Levi. Please note that each Shabbat, a few honors are set aside for other members of the congregation and community.
Members of the immediate family will be invited to the bimah to offer blessings with the rabbi. Cantor Postman will provide families with pdf and mp3 files of all these blessings, and a practice session can be arranged.
The synagogue produces a personalized pamphlet that includes a description of the service and a paragraph-length biography of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Email the cantor the brief bio (250-300 words) in a Word document, two weeks prior to the event. These pamphlets are handed out to arriving guests.
Shabbat services begin at 9:30am and the Torah service begins around 10:15am. Guests should be advised to arrive by 10am (especially if they will be receiving an honor during the Torah service). To help your guests feel comfortable, we have prepared a card for you to include with your invitations providing information about our congregation’s Shabbat practice.
Photographs may not be taken on Shabbat. Many families arrange to have pictures taken at the final run-through of the Bar/Bat mitzvah service which takes place in the sanctuary the Thursday prior.
The entire T&V community is delighted to celebrate this occasion with you and your family. At the start of Kiddush, families help lead the congregation in Kiddush and Motzi (blessings over wine & challah, respectively).
If your family has additional Bar/Bat Mitzvah-related celebrations planned, we ask that you keep in mind the religious significance of the day and that your reception be guided by Jewish tradition. This includes Kosher meals and respect for Shabbat. If your child is enrolled in T&V Hebrew School, we ask that the entire grade be invited to the service and celebration. Keep in mind that the T&V Social Hall is available for reasonably-priced party rental too. Call Esther Schwalb for more information.
As members of the T&V community, Ben and Helene Wagenberg wished to celebrate their son Max’s Bar Mitzvah, a Jewish rite of passage for every Jewish girl and boy. The only difference for their family is that Max is autistic. They created this video to share Max’s experience.
With all of these details to think about, please feel free to contact us with any questions. We’ll be happy to connect you with a family who has recently gone through this process. Again, may we wish you a sincere “Mazal Tov!” We look forward to celebrating this beautiful occasion with you!
Rabbi Larry Sebert
firstname.lastname@example.org or x23
Cantor Shayna Postman
email@example.com or x25
Nina Loftspring, Principal
firstname.lastname@example.org or x 24
Cheryl Gross, Catering Manager
Esther Schwalb, Executive Director
email@example.com or x 20
Sharon P. Steinberg, Chair, Ritual Committee