B’nei 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 and Bat Mitzvah Manual 2015

For the 2016-2017 year we are pleased to welcome back Harriet Frost to the B’Yachad B’nei Mitzvah classes. Harriet is a wonderful teacher and singer and has taught many children and adults to read from the Torah, and has programmed educational Jewish events for many years in Vancouver.

youthinsert2016_v1The Bar and Bat 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-April B’yachad (together) program, students preparing for a bar or bat mitzvah in the coming year meet for approximately 6-8 Sunday afternoons and 6-8 Shabbat mornings. Together, they get to know one another; learn about deeper meanings of the key ideas in the bar and bat mitzvah ceremony; and engage in a significant mitzvah project. The course is taught by Rabbi Hannah Dresner and Harriet Frost, with the help of learned community members.

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 her or his 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 son or daughter; (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

2 year membership in Or Shalom ($980 per year for a one-parent family; $1960 per year for a two-parent family)

  •       Bar/bat mitzvah booking fee ($500)
  •       B’yachad course tuition ($180) ($360 after Rosh Hashanah 5576!)
  •       Refundable security deposit ($200)
  •       Tutoring fees (payable to the tutor as per their pay scale)
  •       Building fund contribution ($2500), payable over many years…

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

Payments 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. 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 bar and bat mitzvah program. Please discuss your individual situation with the Rabbi.

Contact Information

4 Responses to B’nei 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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