- B'Nai Mitzvah -
At the end of the year, our Mitzvah students share with the whole Shule community a overview of their B’nai Mitzvah celebration. We meet in the Freeman Center Sanctuary and the students give a description of what they did for their community service (tikkun olam), and a version of their independent research project which usually relates to what led them to think about their Jewish identity.
B'nai Mitzvah Class Overview
The final year of formal Jewish education at the Triangle Family Shule is the B’nai Mitzvah year. The focus of this class is placed on studying passages from the Torah, imparting Jewish values and observant practices, with heavy emphasis on Bat/Bar Mitzvah preparation. Below is an overview of the Mitzvah year so that parents and students will have a good understanding of what to expect.
Membership: Prior to entering the Mitzvah class, the student is required to have been a member of the Triangle Family Shule for at least one year.
Attendance: Attendance at each Shule class is mandatory for the Mitzvah students. We understand that this may require making some difficult decisions in regards to other activities in which the students participate. Make-up classes are not offered due to the collaborative nature of the Shule sessions. Excused absences are only allowed for family emergencies or celebrations (e.g., weddings, Bat/Bar Mitzvah, etc). Students should arrive at Shule by 9 am for the morning social, as they lead the prayers over the bagels and juice. This opportunity offers the B'nai Mitzvah students practice leading the prayers in front of a large group.
Homework: Prior to each Shule session, Mike Gross, our Mitzvah instructor, sends out the monthly Torah portion, along with study guide questions. Students are expected to read and reflect upon the portion to prepare themselves for class discussions.
Bar or Bat Mitzvah: B'nai Mitzvah students, along with advice from their parents, decide to either read from the Torah or complete a research project. If the student decides to read from the Torah, additional tutoring is typically required which involves an additional time and financial commitment.
Hebrew Classes and Tutoring: Mike Gross has offered group and individual Hebrew classes in the past, for an additional fee. Students who decide to read from the Torah typically attend a group Hebrew class for about 6 weeks to learn the basics of reading Hebrew before receiving individual tutoring. Individual tutoring sessions are offered at an additional fee, and focus on the student’s specific Torah portion to assist the student with becoming fluent with his or her Torah portion. Tutoring time is also spent practicing the prayers for the Bat/Bar Mitzvah and discussing other mitzvah preparations.
Torah Interpretation: In addition to reading from the Torah, students also write a short paper about what their Torah portion means to them. The class spends time reflecting on and discussing each student’s Torah portion to help them develop a comprehensive paper.
Service Project: A service project is also required during the Mitzvah year. The service project is selected by the students and approved by the Mitzvah teacher. The project should be something that will last over a substantial period of time and not a single event.
Graduation: The last Shule session of the year provides time for the Mitzvah students to each present a portion of their mitzvah preparations to the Shule community. They typically share a small section of their Torah portion, explain what it means to them, and provide a brief overview of their service project. Many Mitzvah students also decide to have a private larger Bat/Bar Mitzvah that is planned by their families. Mike Gross offers Mitzvah facilitation services for the mitzvah students if interested.