Download the B’nai Mitzvah Handbook here for detailed policies and fees:
At Temple Sinai we look at each and every student preparing for becoming bar or bat mitzvah as a unique individual. Both the program of study and the religious ceremony itself are tailored by our Religious School staff, Rabbi Aviva Bass, and Cantorial Soloist Margaret Schmitt, to highlight each student’s unique gifts. As a matter of policy, each student who becomes a bar or bat mitzvah at Temple Sinai is the sole honoree on that important occasion. We view this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for your son or daughter, and your entire family, to honor this important milestone in the Jewish lifecycle.
Our program strives to develop in our students a solid Jewish identity, the desire to pursue life long learning, and perform acts of loving kindness as they work toward tikkun olam (repairing the world). As our students are called up to the Torah they demonstrate the development of their public speaking and leadership skills.
We offer bar or bat mitzvah tutoring for students beginning with t’filah (prayer) studies as early as grade 5. Classroom preparation includes full Torah service prayer study over the span of grades 5-7, as well as Torah portion interpretation and discussion. We also emphasize “putting God on the guest list.”
Individualized tutoring with Andrew Arnold, our B’nai Mitzvah Instructor, begins 10-12 months prior to a scheduled bar or bat mitzvah date. More time can be given to students with special needs. Students work toward fluent Hebrew reading and/or chanting of their Torah portion and all required blessings and service prayers. Students with exceptional ability may be permitted to also read a few verses of their Haftarah portion in Hebrew.
Students must work on a mitzvah project of their choosing. Students write their own capstone speech helping them synthesize the lessons of the Torah and Haftarah, their mitzvah project, and their years in Religious School under the guidance of Rabbi Bass. Students also work with Cantorial Soloist Margaret Schmitt in the weeks before the bar or bat mitzvah to learn service songs and rehearse the order of service.
Our b’nai mitzvah contract to secure a date for use of our Sanctuary, guidance by our clergy, tutoring with our b’nai mitzvah instructor, preparation materials, and basic oneg and kiddush spreads for up to 50 guests requires a payment $1,150, broken up into a $400 deposit, a $400 year-in-advance payment, and a $350 9-months-in-advance payment. Organist accompaniment is $250. Bima food baskets/flowers are currently $40. All other costs are the responsibility of the students’ family.