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Bar & Bat Mitzvah

Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a special time in a child’s life as s/he makes the transition to adulthood. It is also a time for your entire family to reconnect or to develop a relationship with the Jewish community. It is a time for the whole community to celebrate and welcome a new “adult member” to the Jewish world. It is a time for study, demonstrating commitment to Torah and the Jewish people, and for celebration.  On the day of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration at PSJC, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah will be called to the Torah for an aliyah, read the maftir portion from the Torah, chant the Haftorah, and share a teaching in the form of a D’var Torah. B’nai Mitzvah are also encouraged to lead parts of the service.

The Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony can take place either on Shabbat morning or
atmincha (the afternoon service) on Shabbat.  In January of the 5th grade year, students and parents will attend a meeting to discuss the date selection process for Bar and Bat Mitzvah at PSJC as well as various options and opportunities for this celebration.

The PSJC Shaarei Mitzvah program is an opportunity for
the b'nai mitzvah students and their families to create connections and explore the themes of becoming a b'nai mitzvah. Beginning in the spring of the 6th grade, Shaarei Mitzvah events include student only programs, as well as family programs, and provide an integrated experiential education opportunity for students in the Hebrew School as well.  Click here for information on PSJC Shaarei Mitzvah.

B'nai Mitzvah Planning Resources

B'nai Mitzvah Guidebook 

B'nai Mitzvah Family Honors List 

​​​​​​B'nai Mitzvah Registration Form 

Kiddush Policy

Coming Soon!

B'nai Mitzvah Checklist             

Guide to Picking a B'nai Mitzvah Tutor


2019 B'nai Mitzvah

Alison Heffez

January 5


Ronit Nolte

January 12


Nora Septimus

January 26 -  Mincha


Dafna & Meital Breyette

February 2


Pearl Marks

February 9


Ilan Greenberg

March 9


Jacob Kirmayer

March 16 - Mincha


Ella Jasie

March 23


Leah Efrati

March 30


Sivan Joffe-Hancock

April 13


Harel Shahaf

May 11


Eli Aslan

June 22 - Mincha


Boaz Ove Ulman

June 29


PSJC 2018 B'nai Mitzvah

Naomi Heffez

January 6


Julia Gottesman

January 27 (Mincha)


Sam Lauricella

February 3


Asher Josephson

March 3


Elan Rabiner

March 10 (Mincha)


Isabel Reiner 

March 17


Ava Barash

March 17 (Mincha)


Gabrielle Mollin

March 24


Miranda Medintz

April 14


Banjo Sande


Elijah Slarskey

May 5


Sidney Blumenfeld 

June 9


Bobbi Meyerson

June 16 (Mincha)


Lena Gutman

June 23


Isaac Tepper

June 30


Rami and Noa Sadovnik

September 8

Leila Dickman

September 15


Laila Pollack

September 29


Ella Jasie

October 6


Milo Shaklan

October 13


Phoebe Franklin

November 3



Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a recognition of the moment when a Jewish child reaches a certain level of maturity and understanding about Jewish life. As such, in addition to halachic requirements (i.e. that the Bar/Bat Mitzvah must be Jewish according to the standards of the Conservative movement and have reached his/her 13th birthday according to the Jewish calendar), we ask that each Bar/Bat Mitzvah has attended religious school (in our Hebrew School or in a program acceptable to the Rabbi) for a minimum of five years.

We also feel it is important for B’nai Mitzvah and their families to be a part of the larger PSJC community. Therefore, we ordinarily ask that families be members of PSJC for two years prior to the celebration of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

In order to become familiar with the basic outline of Shabbat morning services and the life of the synagogue community, B’nai Mitzvah students (along with an adult family member) should attend services either at Junior Congregation or the main service at least 30 times during the two years prior to Bar/Bat Mitzvah, with at least half of those times being in the main sanctuary.  

A few months prior to Bar/Bat Mitzvah, students will meet with the rabbi to prepare a D’var Torah. It’s never too early, though, to begin studying one’s Torah portion!  The Rabbi also works with individuals to discuss ways you and your family and friends can participate more fully in the service on the day of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  From reading Torah, leading parts of services, creating readings, there are many opportunities to participate.  Rabbi Carter is also happy to walk through the service with you to help you and your family better understand service itself.  A child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a wonderful opportunity for all in the family to learn.


Rabbi Carter will happily assist a family in finding a suitable tutor to help prepare for this day. PSJC tutors range in experience and skills and can work with students to learn their haftarah, Torah reading, elements of the service, and supplementary Jewish knowledge. Families arrange fees and tutoring schedule on a one-on-one basis with their tutor.

Financial Obligations

There is a $600 Bar/Bat Mitzvah fee. This covers meetings with the rabbi, the B’nai Mitzvah coordinator, use of the synagogue, and the Sha’arei Mitzvah program. As this is a community celebration, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah family is expected to sponsor kiddush for the community after services in celebration of the event. This should be arranged through the office.

Mitzvah Project

Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is not only about counting in a minyan or being able to participate more fully in the ritual life of the community.  It is about taking on a personal obligation to live as a Jew in every aspect of one's life. Mitzvot are not only about ritual behavior, but ethical responsibility as well. In addition to participation in Shabbat services and teaching through a dvar Torah, students are asked to create a personal mitzvah project. Through this project they can give something to the broader community at the moment of taking the first steps as an adult member of the PSJC community.  These acts of Tzedakah and Gemilut Hasadim mark a personal commitment to making mitzvot an integral part of a student's life. Some examples of past Mitzvah Project organizations include: Wells Bring Hope, AJWS, Peace Passers, and Charity Water. 


Upcoming 2020 B'nai Mitzvah              2019 B'nai Mitzvah              2018 B'nai Mitzvah

Tue, October 15 2019 16 Tishrei 5780