B’yachad – Bar/Bat/Simchat Mitzvah with Or Shalom

What is B’yachad?

B’yachad (together) is Or Shalom’s Simchat Mitzvah program with interactive study for youth taught by singer-songwriter Harriet Frost and Jewish educator Matthew Gindin. At Or Shalom, Simchat Mitzvah preparation begins a year or more before our youth are called to the Torah for their first Aliyah. Ours is a multi-modality class meeting on Sunday afternoons during the school year and includes special participation on some holidays and Shabbatot. Our program will include a social action initiative in the spirit of “It is not the study that is essential, but rather the action (Pirke Avot 1:17).”

Sunday Class Time: 3-5 p.m. at Or Shalom (710 E 10th Ave.)

2019-20 Dates: October 20, November 3, November 17, December 15, December 22 (Chanukah participation), January 12, January 26, January 31 (Shabbat dinner), February 9, February 23, March 8, March 29, April 19 (Earth Day participation), May 3, May 24, June 7, June 20 (Shabbat service participation)

Tuition: $720 per student

Register online below!

Having a Bar/Bat/Simchat Mitzvah With Or Shalom

This page is the introduction to the topic of B’nei Mitzvah. We also provide an online B’nei Mitzvah Manual for your planning. Bar-Bat-Simchat Mitzvah Manual 2017

The Bar/Bat/Simchat Mitzvah Program at Or Shalom is designed to:

  • create a warm community of students and parents
  • engage students in active learning experiences
  • welcome youth into Jewish adulthood with a joyous synagogue ceremony

Group Learning. In the September-June B’yachad (together) program, students preparing for a bar, bat, or simchat mitzvah in the coming year meet on Sundays and are encouraged to attend Shabbat mornings and holiday programs. Together, they get to know one another; learn about deeper meanings of the key ideas in the bar, bat, and mitzvah ceremony; and engage in a significant mitzvah project.

Individual Learning. For 6-12 months prior to the ceremony, students work weekly with a tutor to learn the Torah reading and prayers specific to their ceremony. The Rabbi can connect you with a qualified tutor. About two months before the ceremony, each student meets with the Rabbi for four one-hour sessions to prepare their dvar Torah (speech). A rehearsal takes place approximately one week before the ceremony.

Parent Responsibilities. Parents are asked to (1) meet the financial obligations listed below; (2) on certain days, attend the B’yachad class with their child; (3) arrange for individual tutoring for their child, in consultation with the Or Shalom Rabbi; (4) work with the Rabbi to plan the details of the ceremony; (5) provide a kiddush lunch after the ceremony for all who are attending.

Financial Responsibilities

Two-year membership in Or Shalom ($980 per year for a one-parent family; $1,960 per year for a two-parent family)

  •       Bar/bat/simchat mitzvah booking fee ($500)
  •       B’yachad course tuition ($720)
  •       Refundable security deposit ($200)
  •       Tutoring fees (payable to the tutor as per their pay scale)
  •       Building fund contribution ($2,500), payable over many years…

Or Shalom seeks to include young Jews to fulfill the mitzvah of a Bar, Bat or Simchat Mitzvah. While the fees above are fixed, Or Shalom offers flexible membership dues.

Payments can be paid through the online registration or should be sent directly to the Or Shalom office. Or Shalom cannot commit to a calendar date until the booking fee is received.

To Proceed. Register HERE, or if you would like more information please contact Rabbi Hannah. She will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and to discuss possible dates for the ceremony at Or Shalom. Children of interfaith families are welcome in the program. Please discuss your individual situation with the Rabbi.

Contact Information

  • Mailing address: Or Shalom Synagogue
    710 E 10th Avenue, Vancouver BC  V5T 2A7
  • Phone: 604-872-1614
  • Office Administrator Email:  office@orshalom.ca
  • Rabbi Email:  Rabbi Hannah Dresner

Last Updated on

7 Responses to B’yachad – Bar/Bat/Simchat Mitzvah with Or Shalom

  1. Dan Fedder/ Jane Venis says:

    Our twins Evan and Leah(age 13 in May) will be joining the class this year. Please give details of start,days etc. Thanks, Danny.

    • Mazel Tov! We’ll be happy to welcome your family to Or Shalom and for Evan and Leah to join B’yachad.

      Our inaugural meeting will be Sunday September 20 from 3:00-5:00 at Or Shalom, and classes and gatherings will be on Sundays through the year. The exact dates are somewhat up to the families to help choose, so we’ll see you on the 20th!

  2. Tammy says:

    Our two youngest daughters, Liv and Issy, will both join the class in due course. At what age is enrolment suggested?

    Tammy and Paul McCurry

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