From the Clergy + Executive Director

From the Desk of Cantor Ben Ellerin

Dear Parents,

Mazel Tov and Congratulations! Soon your child will become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. This is a milestone that we hope will be one of many that we celebrate together with you and your family here at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. There is so much to do and so much to think about in preparation for the day, and that is why this handbook was created. Please read it carefully.

My job, as administrator of our BHC Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program, is to ensure that not only is every child properly trained, but that the process is enjoyable and meaningful for the entire family. It is my goal, along with the rest of the clergy, that you come away from this experience feeling empowered and motivated to continue on a life-long path of Jewish learning. As it is said, “Wise students (of Torah) bring a greater measure of peace into the world.”

Feel free to contact me ( or Marci Messick ( when you have questions, concerns or requests at any point in the process.

Wishing you joy and success,
Cantor Ben Ellerin



From the Desk of Rabbis Andrew Busch and Elissa Sachs-Kohen

Dear Bar/Bat Mitzvah Family,

Congratulations! We are excited to celebrate with you as you receive the date of your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Baltimore Hebrew Congregation is honored to be part of the preparation and celebration of your simcha.

Over the coming years, we look forward to getting to know you and your family even better than we already do. The years leading up to Bar/Bat Mitzvah include a number of steps, such as this Parasha Party, a B’nei Mitzvah Retreat, and numerous opportunities to study and pray together. We also see this moment in your child’s life as an opportunity for you to engage Judaism in your adult life. Please know that we would love to explore that with you.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah students are expected to remain enrolled in Jewish education through and including the year of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. We also encourage your children to engage in BHC’s Next Gen: Millie and Alvin Blum 8th-12th Grade Program. Our post Bar/Bat Mitzvah program recognizes that students will have different interests and schedules. Therefore, we provide many doors into continuing and deepening one’s Jewish connections during those crucial years. Next Gen includes our Confirmation 10th Grade, being a Youth Education Madrich, and so much more.  

For now, congratulations and please know that the rabbis, cantors, educators and staff of BHC are happy to answer your questions and accompany you on this journey.

Mazel Tov
Rabbi Andrew Busch
Rabbi Elissa Sachs-Kohen



From the Desk of Jo Ann Windman, Executive Director

Dear Friends,

Mazel Tov on your upcoming simcha!  

As part of your preparations, I want to remind you that being in good financial standing, no later than sixty days prior to your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah, is a requirement of BHC’s Bylaws. This includes all past due amounts on your account and the Bar/Bat Mitzvah fee, as well as any fees you may have incurred for sponsoring an Oneg Shabbat, Kiddush or room rental.

In order to ease that burden, we offer monthly payment schedules, either on your own or by direct debit from your checking account. For those who are either already on or considering direct debit, we allow all of the fees to be paid up by the end of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah fiscal year, June 30. If you are already on direct debit, you should make sure that the amount being deducted each month will meet that obligation.

If you wish to avail yourself of this service or would like to discuss it, give me a call.  Please note that you may pay your balance by MasterCard or Visa at any time by presenting your credit card at the Temple Office during business hours, or by logging into your account at (obtain login information by calling the Temple Office).

We are pleased to let you know that BHC works with all caterers as long as they meet our requirements. We encourage you to plan your child’s celebrations in one of our updated social halls - The Straus Social Hall or The Goodwin Center. BHC is in a great location with all the amenities of other catering venues including plenty of parking. For information on renting our facilities, contact Francie Gill at extension 226 or
Any time you have questions or concerns about your account, or any other issues you would like to discuss, do not hesitate to contact me, 410-764-1587, ext. 223 or

I wish you and your family Mazel Tov!
Jo Ann Windman
Executive Director

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