Bar/Bat Mitzvah literally means, “son/daughter of the commandments.” The meaning behind the term indicates that one is “obligated to observe the commandments.” Those called to read from the Torah for the first time are now considered old enough to understand and fulfill the mitzvot, commandments. This awareness marks the change from the child to the young adult. During the Congregation Albert Shabbat Morning Service, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah demonstrates that he/she is able to join and strengthen the adult religious community by leading prayer and study.
The ongoing study of our heritage is essential to providing our young people with the ability to make informed choices. One of our primary goals at Congregation Albert is to provide our students with the essential background needed to make adult decisions about Jewish practice and observance, and to equip them with the necessary skills and information to be active members of the Jewish community. Only with continued Jewish education can one begin to gain an understanding of the concepts, history, and philosophy of our tradition. It is for this reason that all Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidates are expected to fully participate in the Religious Education programs of the congregation continuously through Confirmation in the tenth grade.
Entrance into the B’nai Mitzvah program has several requirements:
- Family must be members of Congregation Albert
- Student must be currently enrolled in Congregation Albert’s Religious School and in good standing in his/her attendance and academics including regular attendance at monthly Family Torah & T’filah Services (4th, 5th & 6th grades)
- Student must have a reading proficiency of Hebrew
- Students and parents must attend the B’nai Mitzvah workshops occurring during the 5th, 6th & 7th grade years.
- The student and family must regularly attend weekly Shabbat Morning Services when their Bar/Bat Mitzvah studies begin.
- Student must be thirteen or near thirteen years of age at the time of the service. Please note that thirteen is only the minimum age. Students who are older than thirteen may also become Bar/Bat Mitzvah provided they meet all of the other requirements.
The formal preparation begins approximately one year before the date of the service where the student will celebrate becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.