Beyond the Bar'chu: What it means to be an emerging adult in the Jewish community of Shir Tikvah
Becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a journey for the child and his or her family, through which the youth takes their place as (young) adults in the Jewish community. This journey is about more than a ceremony on a specific day. This is about being prepared to be a Jewish adult beyond the "big day."
At Shir TIkvah, preparation for Jewish adulthood starts early through learning songs and prayers at Tot Shabbat and in Mishpacha class on Sunday mornings. Next, Religious School and Hebrew School teach Jewish values and ethics, history, and siddur Hebrew (with the goal of understanding the prayers of our siddur, Mishkan T'filah: A Reform Siddur). Hebrew School convenes on Wednesday evenings for grades 3-7, while Religious School meets on Sunday mornings beginning in kindergarten and going through tenth grade. Students who are in equivalent Hebrew programs, such as Jewish Day School, join Hebrew School in the year leading up to B'nei Mitzvah.
Our educational programs are integrated and ever-expanding to make the B'nei Mitzvah a transformative experience for the students and their families. We focus on a few main areas:
- Learning: Acquiring skills to participate in services and to chant Torah.
- Reflection: Finding personal meaning in Jewish life, history, prayer, and with God.
- Community: Connecting with classmates, with their families, and participating in the rights and responsibilities of Jewish communal life.
- Personal Accomplishment: Increasingly, our students are creating personal challenges for themselves, in more kinesthetic experiences, learning adult skills through the process.
- Mitzvot: Linking our values with the Jewish lens of mitzvot.
Wendy Goldberg is the coordinator of the B'nei Mitzvah program at Shir Tikvah, as well as the Director of Spiritual Engagement, and guides families through the process of B’nei Mitzvah, beginning in fifth grade. Students learn prayers in Hebrew school and work with tutors to prepare their Torah and Haftarah readings. They work with Rabbi Latz to prepare a D'var Torah, and there are family education programs during grades 5-8 exploring the bigger picture of Jewish adulthood. New in 2013-14: Sixth grade families meet on the third Saturday of each month, September-May, for study, prayer, and conversations about Jewish life.
More information on our whole program can be found in the B'nei Mitzvah 2014 Handbook, which we hope will be helpful in planning for this simcha (happy occasion).
B'nei Mitzvah Recordings
These recordings match the numbers on the B'nei Mitzvah Prayer Checklist, found here:
B'nei Mitzvah Prayer Checklist.doc
Page numbers are from Mishkan T'fillah: A Reform Siddur (Shabbat Edition).
Track 01 Candle blessing (higher) p. 2
Track 01 Candle blessing (lower) p. 2
Track 02 Kiddush p. 5
Track 03 Torah Aliya Blessings p. 250
Track 04 Bar'chu pp. 28 & 108
Track 05 Shma pp. 34 & 114
Track 06 V'ahavta pp. 36 &116
Track 07 Adonai S'fatai Tiftach p. 46
Track 08 Avot pp. 48, 126
Track 09 G'vurot pp. 50, 128
Track 10 Tallit Blessing p. 72
Track 11 Mi Chamocha for Friday night (Friedman) p. 40
Track 11 Mi Chamocha for Shabbat morning (Friedman) with traditional Tzur Yisrael p. 122
Track 12 Chatzi Kaddish p. 106
Track 13 Mourner's Kaddish p. 294
Track 14 Haftarah blessing (before) p. 254
Track 15 Haftarah blessing (after) p. 254
Track 16 Yotzeir Or p. 110
Track 17 Ein Kamocha p. 244
Track 18 Av Ha-rachamim p. 244
Track 19 Ki Mitziyon p. 246
Track 20 Shma (taking out the Torah) p. 248
Track 21 L'cha Adonai p. 248
Track 22 Rom'mu p. 249
Track 23 V'zot HaTorah p. 252
Track 24 Eitz Chayim Hi Version 1 (trad) p. 256
Track 24 Eitz Chayim version 2 (Ki Lekach Tov) p. 256
Track 24 Eitz Chayim Hi Version 3 (Carlebach) p. 256
Track 25 Nisim B'chol Yom p. 80-84
Track 26 Oseh Shalom (Klepper) p. 142
Track 27 Ashrei (trad) p. 97-98
Track 28 Kedushah p. 130
Track 29 Sim Shalom p. 140
Track 31 Aleinu p. 282