B’nei Mitzva

B'nei Mitzvah journey


Beth Hillel is proud to offer a comprehensive program of preparation for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah in the Reform tradition. Our boys and girls study Hebrew and Jewish religious studies, engage in activities of Tikkun Olam, learn the prayers and blessings of Shabbat, chant from the Torah and deliver a speech reflecting on their Torah portion, as they learn to take on the responsibilities of Jewish adulthood and experience the joy of Jewish community. In the spirit of Jewish pluralism that defines Beth Hillel, we are happy to accommodate different Jewish traditions (Roman, Sephardi, Ashkenazi) in your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah service.

Guidelines for families:

Children who are 6 years and older, and who are candidates for Bar or Bat Mitzvah with Beth Hillel, should be attending the Beth Hillel Jewish school (named for Giorgio Coen z”l). The school meets 2-3 times a month, on Sunday mornings, for lessons in Hebrew and Jewish studies. In their final year, pre-B’nei Mitzvah students focus on Jewish ethics and values, and carry out a Tikkum Olam project. Lessons are held in Italian, but private lessons in English can also be arranged.

At least 2 years prior to the child’s 13th birthday, families should contact the Rabbi to discuss preparation for the ceremony, and submit the attached form. (download here the module).

At least 1 year prior to the anticipated date of the ceremony, families meet with the Rabbi to select a date for the ceremony and determine a personalized program of study leading to it. Through group meetings with the Rabbi once a month and individual meetings with the Rabbi in the six months leading up to the ceremony (2 x month, 30-60 minutes), children learn how to chant the prayers and their Torah portion, and prepare their speech. Some children may also require additional private tutoring.

In this period, families are expected to participate regularly at Beth Hillel Shabbat and holiday services.

Once the date is fixed, families who wish to arrange for the Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony using the venue of the Beth Hillel congregation (which includes use of the Sefer Torah of the congregation) must contact the president of Beth Hillel to reserve the venue. The family will be asked to cover the cost of hall rental and modest refreshments for the Shabbat morning service.

Families should anticipate the following costs:

  1. Religious school   “Giorgio Coen” tuition fees.;
  2. 500 Euro donation to Beth Hillel, at the beginning of the year leading up to the Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony. This contribution is not only a much-needed gesture of support for our growing congregation, and recognizes the support provided by our rabbi.
  3.  Some families may also have to sustain additional expenses for private tutoring
  4. The cost of hall rental and modest refreshments for the Shabbat morning service..
  1. Questions regarding the B’nai Mitzvah preparation can be directed to Pamela Harris (pbharris2@me.com).

We wish our families and their children a meaningful and enjoyable experience in preparing for this special day.

Download guidelines pdf 

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