What is B’mitzvah?

B’Mitzvah is an affirmation of Jewish learning, a celebration of community, and recognition of a change in status. After their B’Mitzvah, our students are considered full adult members of the community and, as such, can count in a minyan, join committees, and vote at congregational meetings.

The term traditionally does not refer to a ceremony but rather to a moment in the life cycle. Historically, upon reaching the age of 13, a Jewish boy would be called to read from the Torah for the first time to mark his coming of age. At this point, he would take on the responsibilities and privileges of a Jewish adult. The ritual has evolved, especially over the past century. People of all genders are now included in this rite of passage and the ceremony is often a moment to celebrate the student’s learning. More than a moment, one now becomes B’mitzvah through an intentional process of learning and righteous service.

In our Reconstructionist community, our understanding of halacha (Jewish law) also influences our understanding of B’mitzvah. While we may not believe that halacha is binding upon all Jews, we understand mitzvot (commandments) as ritual and ethical pathways to meaningful connection with Jewish traditions, Jewish values, and Jewish community. Thus becoming B’mitzvah signifies a young person’s commitment to understanding and exploring these pathways. In addition, the ceremony and preparation leading up to it are opportunities for family education as well as family celebration, and a chance for parents to reflect on what it means to pass on Jewish values and practices to the next generation.

At Darchei Noam, inclusivity and belonging are values that are reflected in every aspect of the B’Mitzvah process. Some of the ways we create a ceremony that will be the most meaningful for your child include: 

  • Supporting the learning styles of every child. We’ll plan a process and ceremony that meet the social, emotional, and learning needs of your child.
  • Using a non-binary, gender-neutral term “B’mitzvah” to include all students as well as when referring to multiple bar or bat mitzvahs. For further learning, please visit Keshet’s website.
  • We offer opportunities for your whole family to participate in the ceremony as your child becomes B’Mitzvah, regardless of Jewish status. 

Click here for more information about our
B’mitzvah Program

Registration opens on June 30th, 2024

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