b'nai mitzvah
All Programs

B-Mitzvah

Prayer, Music, & Spirituality
Life Moments & Milestones

The B-Mitzvah journey at BJ is framed by Torah (study), avodah (prayer), and gemilut hesed (acts of loving-kindness), where children will continue to build on their foundation of Jewish education, participate in meaningful ritual and prayer experiences, and discover that they have the ability and responsibility to make an impact on the world.

Your child’s B-Mitzvah is an affirmation of your family’s commitment to Jewish community and education. It is an exhilarating moment in a journey of learning, spiritual growth, and commitment to mitzvot. You will discover the rewards of recognizing your child’s steps from childhood towards maturity within the context of a committed Jewish life. And it is holy for us as a community to support and celebrate this transformation with you.

To prepare for their simha, students participate in one-on-one tutoring, family programs, and meetings with the clergy. Our B- Mitzvah and Family Life and Learning teams work with our families to build the foundations for this wonderful lifecycle experience. Our team of teachers, tutors, clergy, and staff are here for our families every step of the way.

For more information or to schedule a B-Mitzvah for your child,
please contact Adina Ornstein-Luks.

Service Options

Shabbat Morning Service

Reserved for students who meet the requirements for Jewish education in a communal setting.

Time: Service is from 9:30 AM to approximately 12:15 PM

Location: Sanctuary (257 West 88th Street)

Leader: BJ Rabbi

Music: Provided by Hazzan Priven and/or BJ musicians

Torah: There are eight aliyot (seven plus maftir) read on Shabbat morning, which are available for students or family members to chant.

Haftarah: The Haftarah, with the respective blessings, is available for B-Mitzvah students to chant

D’var Torah: Each child gives a D’var Torah (teaching based on the weekly parashah, or Torah portion)

Shaliah Tzibur: Each student is invited to lead certain sections of the service

Honors:  A number of honors will be made available, including one aliyah for the family and one aliyah for B-Mitzvah students

Morning Minyan: B-Mitzvah are invited to weekday Morning Minyan to read Torah and lay tefillin the Monday or Thursday of the week leading up to their B-Mitzvah

Community Shabbat Minha Service

*An additional $2,000.00 fee is incurred*

Time: The start time of each service is determined by BJ in collaboration with the family. The start time cannot be later than the time of the previous Friday night candle lighting.

Location: BJ Sanctuary (257 West 88th Street). Depending on the number of attendees and congregational programming, there may be an opportunity to use the Rabbi Rachel Cowan Chapel (270 West 89th Street).

Leader: BJ Rabbi or Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellow

Music: Provided by Hazzan Priven or, in his absence, a BJ musician

Torah: There are three aliyot read, which are available for B-Mitzvah students to chant

Haftarah: Haftarah is not read

D’var Torah: Each B-Mitzvah student gives a D’var Torah (teaching based on the weekly parashah, or Torah portion)

Shaliah Tzibur: B-Mitzvah students are invited to lead certain sections of the service

Honors: A number of honors will be made available, including two aliyot for the family and one aliyah for B-Mitzvah students

Havdalah: Depending on the time of service, the Minha service may conclude with Havdalah

Morning Minyan: B-Mitzvah are invited to Morning Minyan to read Torah and lay tefillin the Monday or Thursday of the week following their B-Mitzvah

Community Attendance: Members of the community are invited to attend the service. Please note that BJ reserves the right to have a program in the sanctuary before the service begins.

Morning Minyan Service

Time: Available on any weekday where Torah is read, including all Mondays and Thursdays, Rosh Hodesh, and Hanukkah. Minyan is held at 9:30 AM on Sundays and certain national holidays, and at 8:00 AM on weekdays.

Location: BJ Sanctuary (257 West 88th Street)

Leader: BJ Rabbi or Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellow

Music: Music is not provided for this service, however parents are welcome to speak to Hazzan Priven about making arrangements to hire BJ musicians

Torah: There are three (four for Rosh Hodesh) aliyot read, which are available for the B-Mitzvah to chant

Haftarah: Haftarah is not read

D’var Torah: Each B-Mitzvah student gives a D’var Torah (teaching based on the parashah, or Torah portion)

Shaliah Tzibur: B-Mitzvah students are invited to lead certain sections of the service

Honors: A number of honors will be made available, including two aliyot for the family and one aliyah for B-Mitzvah students

Community Attendance: Members of the community are welcome to attend the service

*All details subject to change at BJ’s discretion*

Preparation and Guidelines

Tutoring

Each child is assigned a BJ tutor who will work with them for approximately 6-9 months leading up to the B-Mitzvah.

Tutoring includes: learning Torah trope and how to read Torah, learning haftarah trope and how to read haftarah (if applicable), Torah and haftarah blessings, and writing the D’var Torah.

Meetings with Hazzan

Each child meets with Hazzan Priven four to five times throughout the three to four months leading up to the B-Mitzvah to learn how to lead various sections of their B-Mitzvah service and review other materials they have learned.

Hazzan Priven, or other qualified leader, will conduct a dress rehearsal for the child and parent(s).

Additional support may also be provided by a rabbinic fellow or student hazzan.

Meetings with the Service Leader

There will be two meetings with the rabbi or service leader:

  • A one-on-one meeting with the service leader and child
  • A meeting with the service leader, parent(s), and child

B-Mitzvah Fee

The B-Mitzvah fee includes:

  • Tutors’ salaries for 24 one-hour sessions leading up to the B-Mitzvah. Additional sessions and payment should be arranged directly with the tutor. If you elect to have a private tutor, this must be approved by BJ.
  • Printed preparation materials
  • Administrative costs

Payment options are available below. Please contact Adina Ornstein-Luks to discuss payment methods.

B-Mitzvah Year Child Studying with a BJ Tutor Child Studying with a Private Tutor
2022-2023 $2,950 $975
2023-2024 $3,025 $1,000
2024-2025 $3,100 $1,025
2025-2026 $3,175 $1,050
2026-2027 $3,250 $1,075

Photography

No photography/videography may be taken during services or community events. Photos may be taken before or after the rehearsal with Hazzan Priven

For photography arrangements, please contact the B-Mitzvah Administrator.

Celebration

There are a variety of opportunities and options for celebration surrounding B-Mitzvah.

  • Shabbat dinners
  • Community Kiddush
  • Luncheons
  • Evening celebrations
  • Morning minyan breakfast

Depending on the time of the event, there are some Shabbat restrictions, including the type of music that can be played, photography limitations, and other activity guidelines.

Spaces at 88th or 89th Street are available for rent on a first-come-first-served basis, and is sometimes restricted by congregational programming. Rentals can be booked 12 months before the event. For additional information and other rental inquiries, please contact our Event Operations Manager, Sonny Singh.

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