Bar/Bat Mitzvah The Weeked Of

Shabbat Evening Service

At our Shabbat evening service, a parent of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah will lead the congregation in the candle blessing. A parent reads an introductory paragraph to the Kiddush and the Bar/Bat Mitzvah student/s leads the congregation in the Kiddush. Students will also be called up to help lead the V’ahavta and again at the conclusion with their immediate family for HaMotzi. The B’nai Mitzvah family should arrive at BHC at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the service.  

Oneg Shabbat and Shabbat Morning Kiddush

Families of the B’nai Mitzvah may wish to sponsor the Oneg Shabbat on Friday evening and/or a Shabbat Morning Kiddush. If you would like to sponsor an Oneg Shabbat or Kiddush, contact Francie Gill ( in the Temple Office.


Shabbat Morning and Mincha/Havdalah Services

The Shabbat morning service at BHC begins promptly at 10:30 am, and the Mincha/Havdalah service begins promptly at 5 pm. Please advise your guests that it is the custom at Reform synagogues to arrive ON TIME. It is recommended that the family arrive at the service 30 minutes prior to the starting time. It is to everyone’s advantage that the service begins on time, so please greet your guests and ask them to take seats upon arrival. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah students and parents should assemble fifteen minutes prior to the service in the Robing Room for a Sanctuary service. If the service is in the Goodwin Center or the Hoffberger Chapel, meet in your Rabbi’s office. During the Shabbat service the Bar/Bat Mitzvah students sit on the bema. Parents sit in the pews.

Aliyot (Honors)

Each family has an opportunity to call relatives to the bema to say the blessings before and after the Torah is chanted, to open the Aron HaKodesh (Ark) or to hold and dress the Torah. This is a lovely time to include grandparents, siblings or other relatives.

Parents’ Blessing of the child and Aliyah  

Immediately preceding the Torah reading, parents of each Bar/Bat Mitzvah are called to the bema to address their child. This short, intimate moment allows parent(s) an opportunity to speak of their pride and of the significance that this special day holds for them. Immediately after speaking, both parents will recite the blessings before and after the Torah reading. Please feel free to make an appointment with the Cantor or Rabbi in order to go over these blessings.  


Giving tzedakah is the Jewish way of thanking God for the many blessings in our lives, and sharing our blessings with those less fortunate. Bar/Bat Mitzvah is just such a time. It is customary for offerings or donations to be made to BHC on the occasion of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. It is also customary for an offering to be made in remembrance of deceased family members, whose names will then be read during Shabbat services. A list of Temple Funds may be obtained from the Temple Office or our website BHC has many active Temple Funds for tzedakah that support our mission - the survival of Judaism and Jewish Education. Congregants’ generosity is shown through gifts to remember joyous occasions or loved ones in times of sorrow or illness. If you would like to honor our rabbis and cantors, a gift to their Discretionary Funds is an appropriate gesture.
We also encourage our Bar/Bat Mitzvah students to make a contribution to tzedakah with part of their gift money. In this way they can begin to learn the mitzvah of giving back to the community. We encourage our students to make gifts to both Jewish and secular causes. Feel free to discuss tzedakah opportunities with one of our rabbis or cantors. Below are a few sites to consider for tzedakah:

Inscribe a leaf on our Simcha Tree of Life in the main hallway, click on Donate, or call the Temple Office.

Celebrate your B’nai Mitzvah with the Jewish National Fund. JNF offers a selection of invitations and certificates for your special day. or 800-542-8733.

MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger offers a way to contribute a portion of your celebration to help make a difference to those who are hungry. or 

Hadassah’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah Project website will help your child organize a mitzvah project that will change lives.

Berrymans Lane Cemetery E.B. Hirsh Early Childhood Center Videostreaming
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