At Rodeph Sholom, our B’nai Mitzvah experience is a multi-year process of growth and leadership. It is important to us that our students and families feel connected to the CRS community and are involved in the experience at every step of their B’nai Mitzvah journey. We instituted single-family B’nai Mitzvah services, giving every student a personalized process and an opportunity to express their learning and leadership according to their own strengths and passions.
3–4 YEARS PRIOR
The sacred journey begins with other parents and clergy with a series of study sessions and inspirational experiences.
- Families will attend a “Beginning the Journey” session and choose their B’nai Mitzvah date.
- Families will have the option to attend small group sessions with clergy to get families oriented to the process.
2 YEARS PRIOR
Continue your sacred journey as a family in your child’s age cohort, exploring themes of community and narrative.
- Families attend two study sessions with clergy: one small group session (Sharing our Stories) and one larger session (Helping Others)
1 YEAR PRIOR
You and your child learn to apply techniques to ensure spiritual and personal growth and impact the world through social justice experiences.
- During CRS Discoveries Program and/or RSS hours, your child studies cantillation (trope) for their Torah and Haftarah portions, and participates in a service-learning program of study and action.
- Families attend two additional study sessions, a small group meeting with clergy (Sacred Wellness), and a session with West Side Campaign Against Hunger (Dimensions of Tzedakah).
6–8 MONTHS PRIOR
You, your child, and clergy come together to explore your beliefs and why they matter, and to examine what this milestone means to you, your family, and your community.
- Families attend their final study session, “Our Truth.”
- Families will attend a D’var Torah Writing Workshop with senior clergy.
- Families have an Initial Meeting with one of our cantors to outline the B’nai Mitzvah service training process, and then the student begins twenty-minute weekly lessons with a tutor.
3–6 MONTHS PRIOR
You and your child now understand the components of the sacred journey and know the next steps to take to reach your milestone.
- Each student attends an individual study session with a clergy member to begin their D’var Torah (speech).
2 MONTHS PRIOR
The student transitions to twenty-minute weekly lessons with the cantor.
1 MONTH PRIOR
As you near your simcha (celebration), final preparations are made so your child can feel confident on the bimah.
- Your family meets with the officiating rabbi to review the service together.
THE WEEK OF
Mazel tov! You are about to embark on the most sacred journey of all—that of living a full Jewish life.
- Families will have a rehearsal with the officiating cantor on Wednesday or Thursday.
- Families will join Friday night services for candle lighting and Kiddush.
- Get plenty of rest!
BEYOND B’NAI MITZVAH
We envision that all our B’nai Mitzvah continue their learning and growth through CRS Teen Programming which has something interesting for every teen:
- 8th grade service learning trip to New Orleans
- Paid Post B’nai Mitzvah Internship
- 10th grade Berlin trip
- TMT Social Justice Program
- BBYO social gatherings and leadership opportunities
With Support from The Scott and Pam Schafler Family Fund