Though no 13-year-old is expected to drive a car, pay rent, or embark on a career, it is a special moment in time when we recognize their steps into Jewish adulthood by inviting them to the bima to lead, teach, and celebrate. At Temple Israel, we help guide each student and their family towards a personal B’Mitzvah experience. We ensure that every student will feel successful as they celebrate their important day in a way that feels meaningful and attainable. No two ceremonies or kids are precisely alike, and we do our best to work with each student to highlight their strengths and guide them towards a beautiful and meaningful experience.

B’Mitzvah Handbook

B’Mitzvah Prayers and Blessings


B'Mitzvah at Temple Israel: Timeline at-a-Glance 

From the excitement of selecting your B’Mitzvah date to standing on the bima, all of us look forward to  guiding you and your family through this special time in your life. Our goal is to have each of you look  back on your B’Mitzvah learning with a deep sense of pride and accomplishment, and a meaningful sense  of your role in Jewish time and space. You are part of this chain of tradition. 

4th grade 
  • Families choose B’Mitzvah ceremony date 
  • 4th & 5th Grade Justice League Shul-in & Louis D. Brown Mother’s Day Walk for  Peace 
5th grade
  • Justice League Launch 
  • 5th Grade Torah Portion Celebration discussing the depth and breadth of the  B’Mitzvah process, including: chanting Torah, the Shabbat morning service, and  writing a d’var Torah. Receive your B’Mitzvah binder chock full of information. 
  • Students are introduced to their Torah portion! 
  • Mark your calendars! Attend Torah Study on the day your child’s Torah portion  is chanted and studied. 
6th grade 
  • Select ongoing Justice practice (with support from Justice League team)
  • Meet with a clergy member to select 10-12 verses from your Torah portion
  • Requests sent to families regarding type of tutoring program for students
  • Students start working with their tutors 
  • Families attend B Mitzvah 101 event where we explore your journey together
  • Temple Israel students attend 6th/7th grade Kallah in the spring
  • Requests for officiating clergy for the B’Mitzvah ceremony submitted 
7th grade 
  • Students continue working with their tutors 
  • Please join us for Friday Shabbat services and the B’Mitzvah services that  continue throughout the year. Soon it will be your turn! 
  • Temple Israel students attend 6th/7th grade Kallah in the spring
  • Justice League activities continue all year, and students work with TI staff and  clergy to wrap up and assess their justice experiences 
8th grade 
  • We can’t wait to continue seeing your kids in our teen program: 
    • The Tent, Monday evenings 
    • Madrichim program (teachers’ assistants), Sunday mornings
10-12 months before: 
  • You will be contacted to choose a tutor who will be meeting with your child on a  weekly basis 
5-7 months before: 
  • You will be contacted by the clergy office to request two rabbis, one of whom will  officiate your service as well as work with you on studying your Torah portion 
3-5 months before: 
  • You will be contacted by the clergy office to schedule a time for your family to  meet with the officiating clergy to prepare “divrei Torah and Haftarah” (words  of Torah) 
1 month before: 
  • Continue practicing with tutor, meeting with cantor, and working with rabbi on drafts of divrei Torah and Haftarah 
The week of your B Mitzvah Ceremony: 
  • Bima rehearsal in the sanctuary (Monday or Tuesday afternoon) – detailed walk through and rehearsal 
  • Chant Qiddush and Hamotzi at Qabbalat Shabbat on Friday evening (6:00 p.m.)
  • 9:45 a.m. meet in the clergy suite on Shabbat morning 
  • 10:15 a.m. begin our Shabbat service entering the atrium in song

Social Justice in Action

The Justice League is a social/justice space for 5th to 7th graders to build their Jewish identities, engage in meaningful justice action and education, and have fun together. The Justice League runs in tandem with the B’Mitzvah experience.

Justice League members have the opportunity to engage in a year-long project of their choosing, or one of our Community Leadership Immersive Programs (CLIPS), where they can engage in justice learning and action together through direct service and grassroots organizing.

Social Fun

Through shul-ins, trips, and events Justice League members bond with their peers while socializing and having fun. 

6th Grade Kallah

Justice League members will spend a weekend away at camp with the clergy and Justice League staff. Students will experience Shabbat in a new way: sleeping in bunks, special camp style worship, outdoor challenges, as well as Havdalah and s’mores around the campfire.