B’nai Mitzvah

Prayer, Music, & Spirituality
Life Moments & Milestones

The B’nai 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 bar/bat 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’nai 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’nai Mitzvah for your child,
please contact Julie Schwartz.

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 (88th Street)

Leader: BJ Rabbi

Music: Provided by Hazzan Priven and/or BJ musicians

Torah: There are 8 aliyot (7 plus maftir) read on Shabbat morning, which are available for the bar/bat mitzvah to chant. (If a Shabbat is shared, the b’nai mitzvah children will share the reading of Torah and Haftarah and the families will share some of the honors.)

Haftarah: The Haftarah, with the respective blessings, are available for the bar/bat mitzvah to chant

D’var Torah: Each child gives a d’var torah (teaching based on the parasha)

Shaliah Tzibur: The bar/bat mitzvah child 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 the bar/bat mitzvah child

Morning Minyan: B’nai mitzvah are invited to Morning Minyan to read Torah and lay tefillin the Monday or Thursday of the week leading up to their bar/bat mitzvah

Community Shabbat Minha Service

Reserved for students who meet the requirements for

Jewish education in a communal setting.

Time: Community Minha services are generally held on the second Shabbat of every month. 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: 88th Street Sanctuary. Depending on the number of attendees and congregational programming, there may be an opportunity to use the 89th Street Chapel.

Leader: BJ Rabbi

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

Torah: There are 3 aliyot read, which are available for the bar/bat mitzvah to chant

Haftarah: Haftarah is not read

D’var Torah: Each bar/bat mitzvah child gives a d’var torah (teaching based on the parasha)

Shaliah Tzibur: The bar/bat mitzvah child is 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 the bar/bat mitzvah child

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

Morning Minyan: B’nai mitzvah are invited to Morning Minyan to read Torah and lay tefillin the Monday or Thursday of the week following their bar/bat 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.

Non-regularly Scheduled Shabbat Minha Service

$1,000 additional rental fee is required for this service

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: 88th Street Sanctuary. Depending on the number of attendees and congregational programming, there may be an opportunity to rent the BJ Chapel (89th Street).

Leader: A Rabbinic Fellow or other qualified leader is provided by BJ

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

Torah: There are three aliyot read, which are available for the bar/bat mitzvah to chant

Haftarah: Haftarah is not read

D’var Torah: Each bar/bat mitzvah child gives a d’var torah (teaching based on the parashah)

Shaliah Tzibur: The bar/bat mitzvah child is 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 the bar/bat mitzvah child

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

Morning Minyan: B’nai mitzvah are invited to morning minyan to read Torah and lay tefillin the Monday or Thursday of the week following their bar/bat mitzvah

Community Attendance: Members of the community are welcome to attend the service. Additionally, 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 9:30AM on Sundays and certain national holidays, and at 7:30AM on weekdays.

Location: 89th Street Chapel. Depending on the number of attendees and congregational programming, there may be an opportunity to rent the 88th Street Sanctuary.

Leader: A rabbinic fellow or other qualified leader is provided by BJ

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 bar/bat mitzvah to chant

Haftarah: Haftarah is not read

D’var Torah: Each bar/bat mitzvah child gives a d’var torah (teaching based on the parasha)

Shaliah Tzibur: The bar/bat mitzvah child is 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 the bar/bat mitzvah child

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 six-nine months leading up to the B’nai Mitzvah.

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

Meetings with Hazzan

Each child meets with Hazzan Priven between four and five times throughout the three to four months leading up to the bar/bat mitzvah to learn how to lead various sections of their bar/bat 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. Please note that if the child shares the B’nai Mitzvah date, both families will be together at this meeting.

B’nai Mitzvah Fee

The B’nai Mitzvah fee includes:

  • Tutors’ salaries for 24 1-hour sessions leading up to the bar/bat 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 if a tutor is enlisted:

B’nai Mitzvah Year
Child Studying with a BJ Tutor
Child Studying with a Private Tutor
2020-2021
$2,800
$900
2021-2022
$2,875
$925

Photography

No photography/videography may be taken during services or community events.

For photography arrangements, please contact the B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator.

Celebration

There are a variety of opportunities and options for celebration surrounding B’nai 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.

Contact Us

Julie Schwartz

Julie Schwartz

B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator

Contact Us

Julie Schwartz

Julie Schwartz

B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator