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At Temple Emanu-El, students typically become Bar, Bat, or B. Mitzvah close to their 13th birthday. This special milestone is marked at a Shabbat morning (Saturday) service at which the student leads their family, friends, and the congregation in worship, chants from the Torah scroll, and teaches about their Torah portion. Students are also required to complete a community service project.

  • We recognize that the path to this achievement, as well as the service itself, is unique for each student, and we are proud to offer personalized tracks based on every student’s learning strengths and needs.
  • While Hebrew learning at TEE begins four years prior to 7th grade, this needn't be a barrier if your family is new to congregational life, as the timeline may be adjusted to suit your child.
  • To become Bar, Bat, or B. Mitzvah at Temple Emanu-El, students must be concurrently enrolled in our Religious School program and the B’nai Mitzvah preparatory class during the year of their B’nai Mitzvah service. Students begin one-on-one weekly tutoring with the Cantor approximately one year out from their service date to review prayers and learn their Torah and Haftarah portions, and work with the Rabbi in a series of meetings to discuss their D’var Torah (speech). The preparation culminates in two rehearsals with the Cantor two and three weeks prior to the service, and a final rehearsal with the Rabbi the week of the service.

What is ‘B. Mitzvah?’ We have introduced the gender-neutral term ‘B. Mitzvah’ into our ritual vocabulary at Temple Emanu-El in order to create an environment of inclusivity for our students, knowing that not everyone fits into the gender binary of ‘Bar’ or ‘Bat’ Mitzvah. We encourage our students to choose the term that fits them best at this point in their lives as we celebrate this milestone together!

To find out more information about your child becoming Bar, Bat, or B. Mitzvah at TEE please contact:

Please find our handbook here                                                                                           

Temple Emanu-El Members please log in to access the B'nai Mitzvah Date Request Form.

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Adult B’nai Mitzvah

Adult members of the congregation who did not have a B’nai Mitzvah service at age 13 are invited to mark the milestone as an adult! Cohorts run every few years when there is enough interest, or you are invited to prepare as an individual at any point as agreed upon with the clergy.

Preparation is typically a two year commitment; the first year is dedicated to Hebrew decoding and basic reading skills, which leads into learning to read and chant the core prayers that make up the service. The second year is dedicated to continued learning of the prayers, an introduction to Torah chanting, learning a short Torah portion, and writing a D’var Torah. You will work closely with the Rabbi, Cantor, and education director throughout this process, and bond with the members of your cohort for an unforgettable and impactful experience!

If you are interested in participating in the adult B’nai Mitzvah process please fill out the form below.


Sat, May 18 2024 10 Iyar 5784