Becoming bar or bat mitzvah takes place at the age of thirteen and marks a degree of proficiency in Hebrew and in leading the service. It means that the young person has accepted responsibility for all the ethical mitzvot (commandments) found in the Torah and all of the ritual mitzvot that are personally meaningful within a liberal Jewish interpretation as found in our synagogue.
The student is led to understand that s/he is part of a vital link in an unbroken chain of Jewish men and women who have studied and cherished the Torah. The spiritual significance of aliyah leTorah (ascending to the reading and the blessings of the Torah) is emphasized along with a discussion of the content of the Torah and Haftarah portions. Children and parents are taught that instruction beyond bar/bat mitzvah and especially through confirmation is important and that Jewish education is a lifelong process.
We are proud of our unique b’nei mitzvah program. Our program contains many features that enable our youth to grow as both Jews and human beings. We are concerned not only with how much our students know, but also with how deeply they feel about what they have learned.
The bar/bat mitzvah at Temple Emanuel occurs following the thirteenth birthday for both boys and girls. Traditionally the service takes place on Shabbat morning. Bar/bat mitzvah dates are assigned to students when they are in fifth grade.