Today is July 22, 2017 -

B’nai Mitzvah Eligibility

To be eligible for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Beth El Synagogue, a student must have been enrolled at BESTT from Grades 3-6 (and attending 2 days per week on a regular basis). Friedel Jewish Academy students are expected to attend BESTT. Kindergarten-Grade 2 Friedel students should be here on Sunday mornings. Grades 3-7 should be here on Sundays and Wednesdays.

In addition, all students must be enrolled in 7th grade, regardless of when the B’nai Mitzvah occurs.

If a student transfers from an equivalent school in another city or a different synagogue, the Director of Congregational Learning must evaluate a student entering the BESTT program after Grade 3 from another school in Hebrew reading skills. If that new student’s Hebrew skills are not on a par with those of his/her classmates, a private Hebrew tutor must be secured at the parents’ expense, plus regular attendance at BESTT is required 2 days per week. If a Bar or Bat Mitzvah occurs during Grade 8, the student must be enrolled in the BESTT 8th Grade class.

Students who are enrolled and attending our Talmud Torah on a full-time basis at the time of their Bar or Bat Mitzvah, are eligible to participate in the following parts of the service in the following order:

  • Aliyah (Torah Blessings)
  • Torah Reading
  • Haftarah and accompanying blessings
  • Speech

Students who wish to lead parts of the Friday evening or Shabbat morning service are expected to attend one of the following programs on a regular basis prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date in order to learn the needed prayers and davening skills:

A. Shabbat–Friday night and/or Saturday morning services
B. Junior Congregation – the Hazzan teaches your child his or her Torah and Haftarah reading, not the services that are taught during BESTT classes and Junior Congregation services regularly.

Graduates of Friedel Jewish Academy are expected to be enrolled in BESTT in Grade 7, Sundays and Wednesdays and participate in our Grade 8 class.

If these requirements are not met, there are other opportunities for having a Bar/Bat Mitzvah at Beth El Synagogue.  Saturday evening Mincha/Maariv services and/or Monday or Thursday mornings are available for an Aliyah.

Arrangements will be made on a case by case basis for students with special needs or conflicts due to geographical considerations. The Rabbi and Hazzan will make the final determination to the extent of the child’s participation in the service. A meeting for parents will be held two years in advance of a student’s upcoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah to discuss all details related to the B’nai Mitzvah training and synagogue policies.