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Bar & Bat Mitzvah

To inquire about enrolling your child in the Woodstock Jewish Congregation's B'nai Mitzvah program, please contact Dee Graziano, our Education Coordinator, at [email protected] or (845) 679-2218 x 6.

B’nai Mitzvot are truly special for WJC students.  In our tradition, young Jews do not “have” a bar or bat mitzvah.  A girl becomes a bat mitzvah, and a boy becomes a bar mitzvah.  It is not only performative; it is transformative.  In keeping with this change of status, b’nai mitzvah families meet with the rabbi twice a month (in addition to individualized tutoring), and explore what it means to take on this new and powerful identity.  Families explore:

  •  The concept of "mitzvah," and the observation of mitzvot as the path to living a Jewish life.  Students connect becoming bar or bat mitzvah with the commitment to lifelong practice.

  •  The practice of tefilah (“prayer”) and blessings, as a pathway to nurture awareness and gratitude.  Families learn that tefillah is a mitzvah.

  • How to be a mensch, and that most central of mitzvot, to treat all people as created b'tzelem E-lohim, in the image of the Creator.

We understand that the date of the bar or bat mitzvah celebration is important to every family, particularly those with out-of-town relatives.  In the early spring of the 6th Grade year, families attend a B’nai Mitzvah Class orientation to discuss the process of the b’nai mitzvah year.  A worksheet is handed out with open dates that can be chosen for the bar/bat Mitzvah; families are asked to fill out this worksheet indicating their top three choices of date.

B’nai Mitzvah requirements are as follows:

  • Attendance at the WJC Family School in at least the 5th and 6th grade.
  • Attendance at all B'nai Mitzvah classes with at least one adult family member when the student is in 7th grade.