What is Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a title a Jew earns at the age of thirteen. The title indicates a new status in the Jewish community with accompanying privileges and responsibilities.


To become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is to become a son or daughter of the commandments; that is, one who is obligated to learn about and to observe commandments and Jewish practices as an adult.  

The typical Bar/Bat Mitzvah student at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation leads part of the Shabbat morning or Mincha/afternoon/Havdalah service, chants the Torah and Haftarah portion and teaches a lesson (D’var Torah) to the congregation. Participating in the service is an honor and a privilege, but it is also a challenge, affording students an opportunity to take an adult role in the synagogue and the Jewish community.

Bar and Bat Mitzvah is a rite of sacred passage - not a culmination. At BHC we view the Bar / Bat Mitzvah as the ceremonial moment that leads to continued education. The Jewish child is welcomed into the adult Jewish community, marking the next stage in his or her Jewish studies and continuing towards NextGen and Confirmation. The clergy, teachers and lay leaders at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation stand ready to guide your family through the process leading to your child becoming a Bar / Bat Mitzvah, and celebrate with you at this simcha. Students who become Bar/Bat Mitzvah in 8th grade should note that they are expected to remain enrolled in Jewish education through that school year. We hope all our students will continue to engage in formal Jewish study.

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