Bar or Bat Mitzvah takes place on a Shabbat following the child’s 13th birthday (in Masorti tradition girls can become bat mitzvah after their 12th birthday). It is an important part of the Jewish passage through adolescence, acting as an entry point to adulthood within Judaism.
In all three synagogues within the Mosaic community, Bar and Bat Mitzvah are treated with equal importance. That is, both boys and girls have the opportunity to read from the Torah, Haftorah, and take as much part in the service as they feel comfortable.
Children are required to attend Mosaic HaMakom religion school classes prior to their Bar or Bat Mitzvah and regularly attend Shabbat evening, Shabbat morning and festival services.
We also welcome adult Bar or Bat Mitzvah at any age.
If you wish to discuss Bar or Bat Mitzvah, please contact Rabbi Frank Dabba Smith, Rabbi Kathleen de Magtige-Middleton, or Rabbi Paul Aberman.
Kabbalat Torah usually takes place after Bar or Bat Mitzvah at the age of fifteen or sixteen. Liberal Judaism has long regarded Kabbalat Torah as the most important ceremony because it prolongs the period of formal religious education, and we have taken this tradition and extended it to embrace a pluralist approach encompassing Liberal, Masorti and Reform teaching, practices and traditions.
The confirmees benefit from studying as a mature group with Rabbi Frank Dabba Smith and Rabbi Kathleen de Magtige-Middleton. In addition to studying hebrew and Jewish text, in Kabbalat Torah particular emphasis is placed on study of the Holocaust, in particular altruism and resistance.
Every year, the class go on a 4-day trip to bring these studies to life and complete a project reflecting what they’ve experienced. This forms a key element of the annual Kabbalat Torah service, itself a highlight of the congregation’s calendar.
For more information on Kabbalat Torah, contact Rabbi Frank Dabba Smith or Rabbi Kathleen de Magtige-Middleton.