According to Jewish tradition, a child attains Jewish adult status at the age of 13. This means that the child may be counted in a minyan and is obligated to observe mitzvot including the wearing of a talit. Similar to reaching legal age in the United States, the child does not “do” anything to become a Bar Mitzvah. One becomes Bar or Bat Mitzvah -- it is a status, not an event. In Reform Judaism, 13 year old boys and girls mark this Jewish rite of passage by leading a worship service, chanting from the Torah and Haftarah, and offering their own interpretation of the weekly Torah portion by offering a Dvar Torah (speech). At Shaaray Tefila, we strive to make the Bnai Mitzvah experience both meaningful and enriching. Students become Bnai Mitzvah on Shabbat mornings in the sanctuary. A maximum of three children may become Bnai Mitzvah on the same day.
The clergy have developed Shaaray Tefila's comprehensive Bnai Mitzvah program that includes weekly tutorials, performance of community service, and group seminars and orientation meetings.