The occasion of your child becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a very special time for you and for our congregation. While there are many days in the lives of our children which are filled with pride and joy, this moment in Jewish life enables and encourages us pause to appreciate the awesomeness of your child taking an honored place in shalshelet ha-kabbalah, the chain of our Jewish tradition.
The Babylonian Talmud includes a wonderful prayer that is often shared with B’nai Mitzvah families. We pray that our children live to “see their world fulfilled…trusting in generations past and yet to be… hearts filled with intuition and words with insight… eyes shining with the light of holy words and faces reflecting the brightness of the heavens.” These may seem like lofty visions and aspirations. But they are precisely what we hope to share with you as your Bar/Bat Mitzvah student participates in the leadership of Shabbat services, chants from Torah and prophetic teachings, teaching his/her community.
Yet as memorable as Bar/Bat Mitzvah is, there is more Jewish education ahead. NVHC encourages lifelong learning. Through our youth group, Kehilat Limmud and Tamid programs, our children are challenged to make their Jewish identity take flight! Confirmation in 10th grade is absolutely essential and transformative.
The B’nai Mitzvah Parents’ Prayer/Service Class Series
This class is offered periodically for parents of students who will become B’nai Mitzvah in the near future. In five sessions, the class discusses the meaning of this life cycle event and the mitzvah of celebrating Shabbat, provides information about your responsibilities and the sequence of your child’s preparation, explains the structure of the worship service and the Reform siddur, and provides an opportunity to prepare a D’var Torah. The class blends structured teaching, practical advice, and shared experiences. The goal is to make the B’nai Mitzvah a deeply meaningful experience for the whole family and to perpetuate the spirit of Jewish community and tradition.
Past participants in the class, both Jewish and non-Jewish parents, report that the sessions helped them to feel better prepared, gave them an opportunity to talk with other pre-B’nai Mitzvah parents, and taught them numerous aspects of the tradition and liturgy involved in this life cycle event.