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Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Our Religious School begins preparing children for bar and bat mitzvah beginning in Grade 4.

The process accelerates in Grades 6 and 7 in a yearlong series of meetings with our cantor and rabbis, culminating in a beautiful Shabbat morning ceremony at either our historic Glazer Campus, the Irmas Campus in West LA, or the outdoor chapel at our camps in Malibu.

We make the preparation process clear, helpful and as stress free as possible. The rabbis are chosen on a calendar rotation basis and assigned approximately nine months prior to the bar or bat mitzvah date.

Our clergy are committed to spending significant time with each and every b'nei mitzvah student ("b'nei mitzvah" is just the plural form of bar or bat mitzvah). Starting approximately seven months prior to the bar/bat mitzvah date, each student will have 24 private individual lessons with their b’nei mitzvah Instructor to learn their own Torah and Haftarah portions. Students and parents will also meet with the rabbis to discuss theology and the student's d’var Torah. At the meetings the student will study material relevant to understanding the significance of “coming of age,' their tikkun olam project, and study his or her particular Torah and Haftarah portion, with the goal of finding their meaning in his or her life. This process culminates with the student writing a d’var Torah. At Cantor Gurney’s Shabbat meeting for b’nei mitzvah students and parents, he discusses the Shabbat morning liturgy and the meaning of Torah in our lives. He helps with parent blessings and choosing the aliyah honors. Questions and discussion are encouraged at all meetings.

Three b’nei mitzvah dress rehearsals under the direction of Cantor Gurney are held within three weeks prior to the bar/bat mitzvah date at the assigned campus. Parents and students must attend together. The student’s participation and parent participation will be rehearsed, so everyone is well prepared on the scheduled date.

Any questions? Please e-mail Cantor Gurney’s No Need To Worry Hotline: cantorsoffice@wbtla.org.