No child needs to ‘have’ a bar or bat miztvah. They simply become bar or bat (son or daughter of the commandment’) on reaching Jewish adulthood, which in the progressive world is at 13 for both boys and girls.
Children who become bar or bat miztvah at our Kehillah have either grown up in our cheder or joined us and attended regularly for a minimum of two years. The Big Day is booked around 12-18 months in advance, and is chosen either because it falls on the Shabbat after their 13th because the Torah portion or time of year has a special meaning for them. The young person will usually be able to read Hebrew before they start the process, but some have not yet begun. All of them manage to learn!
Continuing to attend cheder, they with a tutor (who we recommend) either once a week or once a fortnight for nine months before the Big day, learning to read their Torah portion both with and without vowels, and exploring what it means. Around 12 weeks before the day itself they begin a series of sessions with Rabbi Shulamit, who will help them to write an in depth analysis/speech called a D’var Torah, rehearse their Torah reading and work on their public speaking skills.
As a family you will choose how to involve your family members and our rabbi will guide you on roles for Jewish and non-Jewish relatives in the service.
Bar or bat mitzvah is a profound experience, for the young person and their families, and for a small community like us, every single one is treasured and makes an impact.