After consultation with parents, teachers and students, we have designed an innovative two-year programme to support children as they prepare to take on the responsibilities of being a Jewish adult. This includes being able to read a Torah portion and lead the first part of the shabbat morning service, although the overall goal is marking a rite of passage. We encourage our young people to attend weekly classes. Where this is not possible (for instance, for those at boarding school), we can help you find a local teacher and we are very happy to use mod cons like Skype to communicate.
We enable our young people to be prepared and confident Jewish adults.
The Bnei Mitzvah is a two-year mandatory programme and is built around five key elements:
BM Year 1 students attend weekly on a Saturday morning (10am), following a Westminster-designed Bar/Bat Mitzvah curriculum.
BM Year 2 students attend weekly on Friday afternoons (5pm) which is followed by the Friday evening service (6pm) - in which the students take part - and to which parents are invited. This is followed by kiddush (6.45pm).
Four times a year, there is a chavurah potluck supper (7.00pm) with students and families of BM1 and BM2. The evening concludes with a whole group discussion on the weekly theme – sometimes stimulated by input from a guest speaker.
Two residential trips are provided for the Bnei Mitzvah students each year. The first, in the UK, has a focus on the students getting to know each other. The second is a 3-day weekend to a European city with Jewish interest. In the past four years, our students have visited Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin and Paris.
During the course of each year, the students will be required to participate in a tikkun olam (repairing the world) and/or a tzedakah (righteousness/charity) project.
Based on the interests of the members of the group we provide a number of social and cultural activities – as a way for the group to get to know each other better and for them to explore the wider world of Judaism.
More for more information on our Bnei Mitzvah programme, please contact Rabbi Judith at firstname.lastname@example.org.