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B'nai Mitzvah

Mazal Tov on your child becoming B'nai Mitzvah! 

This is an incredibly special time in the life of your family and we are honored to celebrate with you.  In these unusual circumstances, Congregation B'nai Shalom is proud to provide personal support and care for every family in crafting a meaningful Bar or Bat Mitzvah experience.

Current Options for Becoming B’nai Mitzvah

Zoom Mitzvah

Families who choose Zoom work closely with the clergy and Temple staff to prepare a space in their home where the B'nai Mitzvah service will take place. Your family and friends will be able to participate as congregants on Zoom. We have capacity for up to 100 screens to log on. Other congregants and students can also watch the service via live stream on our website. We provide you with a 'Tech Kit' and support to create a high quality experience.

To experience what a Zoom B'nai Mitzvah is like, click the photo below!

 

Sanctuary Service with Clergy Present

We are now officially in Phase 3 of COVID-19 recovery in Massachusetts and we are pleased to share that, beginning in August, our students will have the option to celebrate B'nai Mitzvah in our sanctuary, with two options available.

Option 1: Rabbi and Soloist are present with the student and immediate household members only (or households in the case of joint custody).

Option 2: Rabbi is present with student and up to 9 others, with the Soloist leading singing from outside of the sanctuary. 

We will also set up a Zoom room for non-local participants, who will be seen on a large screen in our sanctuary. The service also goes out on our live stream where our congregation and other students can watch.

To experience what a Sanctuary B'nai Mitzvah is like, click the photo below!


Frequently Asked Questions

How does Zoom and streaming work?

Congregation B'nai Shalom provides you with a Zoom link for your service. This link can be shared with all of your guests (capacity is for up to 100 screens). In the week before the service you will pick up a Tech Kit that includes cable for a strong internet connection, a high quality microphone and stand, and a webcam that has capacity to zoom in and out. We will provide you with tech support to set up the equipment prior to the final rehearsal.

How does my extended family participate in the Zoom?

Service participants (who are not in-person) will log into the private Zoom call with a link provided by Congregation B'nai Shalom. We have compiled some best practices and tips for Zoom participants on our page Bar and Bat Mitzvah - A Guide for Guests on Zoom. We provide opportunities for all on Zoom to actively contribute to the service through special moments of interaction during the service.

How will our friends and family attend the service?

Whether by Zoom or livestream, we provide guidance on how everyone can be an active congregant at the service. Everyone contributes to the energy of the experience by praying together, wherever they are. The live stream recording is also available for viewing and sharing following the ceremony.

Can the clergy be present with our family?

Beginning in August, our students will have the option to celebrate b'nai mitzvah with the clergy in our sanctuary. Variations, described above as option 1 and option 2 are available.

Do I need to hire a videographer?

No. We provide all of the Tech equipment and support that you need to ensure a high quality digital experience.

Will there be a rehearsal?

Yes! Our schedule of rehearsals with Sharon Brown Goldstein, Lisa Marcus Jones, and Rabbi Gurevitz remains unchanged. The rehearsals are identical, whether you opt for a home service on Zoom or a Sanctuary service.

How does our child read from Torah?

For those who opt for a service in our sanctuary, the Rabbi will take out the Torah for the student to chant from. Due to the limited number of Torah scrolls that we own, the age of the scrolls and the ways that we keep them in a climate-controlled environment, we do not have a scroll that we can make available in the home. However, we have taken photographic images of every child's parsha and they will be able to chant from a sheet that is identical to how their parsha looks in our scroll.

Is a remote experience as meaningful as in person?

Take a look at the reflections from past Zoom Mitzvah families (below) to get a sense of their experiences. But, to quote one family, "We are very proud ... we could not have imagined this service having gone so well.  We appreciate your help and support, along with all the temple staff who we have worked with." Our Shabbat morning service remains a meaningful occasion for our students to demonstrate their learning of Jewish ritual and for us to bless them on the next step of their journey. We have found that families have created additional meaningful experiences following the service, sharing videos with their guests in the Zoom room, opportunities for conversation and toasts. Some have brought small numbers of additional family members into their homes for a special celebration meal.

Are there changes to tutoring schedule?

Nope!

Can I change my date?

At this time we are not changing the dates of services. We determined that this was the necessary course of action for several reasons: a) We do not know when to reschedule to! While we all hope that we will be through this pandemic and a vaccine will become available in 2021 we really don't know. b) There is something special about becoming bar or bat mitzvah on or close to one's 13th birthday. We have found that families who postponed have had a more challenging time maintaining their child's anticipation of this special moment of transition into the teen years, along with difficulty maintaining the high level of ongoing practice for an extended number of months. We encourage families who have contracts with celebration venues to work with those venues to postpone a party to a future and different date from the service. c) As a congregation with limited clergy and a very large number of families who celebrate with us every year, we do not have the capacity to lead all of the additional services on top of those already scheduled in 2021 that would result in waiting until the summer of 2021 or later. Were we to have to further delay beyond next summer we would have no ability to provide a bar or bat mitzvah service leading opportunity for those who had delayed.

B'nai Mitzvah Audio

Friday Night Kiddush (Part 1)

Friday Night Kiddush (Part 2)

Torah Blessing 1

Torah Blessing 2

Haftarah Blessing

Blessing After Haftarah (1)

Blessing After Haftarah (2)

Blessing After Haftarah (3)

Chatzi Kaddish

Borchu

Ma'ariv Aravim (Evening)

Yotzeir Or (Morning)

Ahava Rabah (Morning)

Shema

V'ahavta

Avot V'Imahot

Gevurot

Kedusha (Evening)

Don't Take Our Word - Here Are Some Quotes From Parents and Attendees

"Thanks for including me in your Bat Mitzvah. It was such a wonderful service with the perfect balance of gravity and humor, teaching and learning, leading and sharing. I loved that it started with gratitude and the readings really spoke to me, even as a non-Jewish, non-religious person. I appreciated and was moved by them all. So fitting for today, and I guess for all times." 


"Yesterday was really terrific.  Although we attend our weekly Zoom service and lots of Zoom meetings I wasn't quite sure how this was going to work. It was an amazingly smooth, coordinated service and Lilly truly rocks"


"You, Joe, Lisa and Sharon have always led beautiful, spiritual services. But with the current state of affairs, being able to merge that with the ability to utilize technology to provide a smooth, coordinated service emphasizes how lucky our congregation is to have the four of you as our clergy."


From a Parent: "I just wanted to thank you, not only for today,  but for all that you have done leading up to this day.   It’s been quite the journey for all the families who had postponements and you really made certain that it was a special day despite the circumstances.   We really appreciate all that you did for us."

Wed, October 21 2020 3 Cheshvan 5781