Bar/Bat Mitzvah Dates: 2020
Although you may not believe it, it is now the time to make Bar/Bat Mitzvah assignments for the 5780-5781 (2020) calendar year. We have many children to accommodate, but we will continue to afford you flexibility in choice of dates. Please use the form below, by January 3, 2018, to let us know your four preferred choices for date and use of facilities. The form is set up to select date choices for a Saturday morning service. At the end of the form there will be a place for you to type in dates if you prefer an evening service.
Every bar and bat mitzvah is not only a celebration of a child and family, it is truly a time of joy for the entire synagogue. In fact, the core idea behind our Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebration is that an individual in our midst is ready to take her or his place within our community. For this reason, we strongly encourage all families to choose to celebrate this coming of age moment in the context of the Temple Israel family. This is best accomplished during our Shabbat morning service when a beautiful cross section of our shul is present. Also, the process of preparing for the Bar or Bat Mitzvah is made more familiar by attending the Shabbat morning service during the years prior, and so it naturally becomes the service most familiar to the child and family. Some families do opt for a Saturday evening Bar or Bat Mitzvah for a range of reasons. While we respect that choice, the community dimension should be enhanced. In order to facilitate the connection between those celebrating a Bar or Bat Mitzvah on a Saturday afternoon and the larger community we encourage all families to find a Shabbat morning, likely during the week following the big event, to come to shul and be recognized. We will offer the child an Aliyah, and invite them to read the portion they read on the previous Saturday afternoon. If this is not possible we will work together to find the right timing. By having the whole community see the next generation go up to the Torah, by sharing in a festive Kiddush together and by placing a private simcha in a communal context, we think the meaning of this important time will be greatly enhanced for all families.
Please be aware of these guidelines in choosing your dates:
a) Boys may celebrate a Bar Mitzvah after their 13th birthday on the Jewish calendar. Girls become B’not Mitzvah, responsible for the commandments, at the age of 12 years and 1 day. For that reason, Bat Mitzvah celebrations can be scheduled no earlier than age 12. However, since we at Temple Israel educate with an egalitarian approach to Judaism, we encourage you to keep girls’ celebrations to the same year as their male counterparts – at age 13.
b) All students becoming a bar/bat mitzvah must be enrolled in the Temple Israel Religious School, a Jewish Day School, or have worked with Rabbi Silverman to craft an alternative plan specific for bnei mitzvah. If your child does not yet qualify for a bar/bat mitzvah, please be in touch with Rabbi Silverman ASAP. She is looking forward to working together with you to create the right plan for your family and the synagogue. No dates will be assigned or held without this meeting. Rabbi Silverman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
c) As you choose a date you should be guided primarily by your child’s birthday. However, some dates may be unavailable due to vacations or other Jewish calendar or synagogue needs. We will try to accommodate requests but will not be able to in all cases. (Mid-July to late August and Presidents’ Day weekend are generally unavailable. Other holiday weekends may also present problems, but will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. If you make such a request, please be aware that there may be a delay in confirming your date.)
d) Occasionally lifecycle events intrude even into the lives of synagogue clergy. We will endeavor to minimize this possibility, but under rare circumstances our plans may change for a given date. There will always be clergy present for B’nei Mitzvah.
e) Please indicate whether you wish to have a party at the synagogue. Please be aware that there may be dates when parties cannot take place. Families celebrating their Shabbat morning simcha (festive occasion) will have first right of refusal for our facilities for any celebration. If the facilities are available, families celebrating a mincha/ma’ariv (afternoon/evening prayer) Bat or Bar Mitzvah will be able to make use of Berger or Founders Hall.
f) Rabbi Silverman will be in touch with you closer to the date about all of the processes, procedures (including the simcha fee which is billed in fiscal year your B’nai Mitzvah falls) and to answer any questions. If you have questions any time before please don’t hesitate to reach out.
g) If you have reason to postpone a date into 2021, please do not fill out the form. Instead, reply to this email letting us know that you have chosen to do so and let us know why.
We do make every reasonable effort to accommodate your needs, we cannot guarantee that your requests will be honored so please be clear on your online request.
We look forward to seeing your form filled out before January 3rd.
(An early) mazal tov,
Rabbi Ron Fish and Rabbi Rachel Silverman