Bar & Bat Mitzvah
Bar & Bat Mitzvah
The celebration of becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah continues to be a major milestone in the lives of the youth and families in our congregation. Despite the changing values and priorities of many of this generation’s Jewish families, the vast majority still wish to have their children demonstrate a commitment to Jewish tradition and community by assuming the task of preparing a portion from our scriptures and doing so in the synagogue. We are also aware that there are those in our community with special needs and we welcome those families by both providing a supportive environment and offering the most appropriate ritual experience.
Each year, we conduct dozens of Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations at Beth David. These may take place on a Monday or Thursday morning, Rosh Hodesh, Shabbat Mincha, or Shabbat morning. Regardless of the day, we encourage our B’nai and B’not Mitzvah to participate to their greatest potential – chanting from the Torah and/or Haftarah, leading parts of the service, preparing a D’var Torah, and committing to a personal project of Tzedakah during the course of the year. Parents and siblings are also encouraged to take an active part in the celebrations beyond the planning and it no small naches for both the family, their guests, and the entire congregation, when multiple generations of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah family are involved. B’nai Mitzvah celebrations can take place either in the main sanctuary or in the more intimate chapel, depending on the occasion and the number of guests.
We also offer private lessons for the preparation of our B’nai and B’not Mitzvah provided by our Ritual Director, Michael Rubin.
B'nai Mitzvah Program
Beth David offers a special B’nai Mitzvah program each year. Led by our Ritual Director and Program Director, the B'nai Mitzvah Program is for teens in the year of their Bar/Bat Mitzvah and provides an opportunity to learn and grow with other B’nai Mitzvah youth, as well as interact with the Beth David community and the larger Jewish community of Toronto. The emphasis here is on enhancing community awareness and gemillut chassadim / acts of Tzedakah. Some of the activities we have included in recent years are:
- Collecting food for a shelter in downtown Toronto, taking it there, preparing a Sunday evening meal and serving it to those who have come off the street.
- Preparing Pesach packages for the less fortunate in our own community.
- Visiting Benjamin’s Funeral Home to learn how our tradition provides dignity and comfort for those who have suffered a loss.
- Meeting with representatives of the Toronto Jewish Federation to explore how our community is organized and prioritizes to meet its many and varied needs.
- Engaging meetings with the Rabbi and Cantor.
- Participation in the many congregational events taking place during the year, such as our annual Hanukkah party and massive Megillat Esther chanting experience!
Some of the sessions are for the B’nai Mitzvah only, others designed to focus on a family experience.