Bat / Bar Mitzvah Preparation and Logistics
1. Preparation: Overview of service requirements and study process leading up to bat/bar-mitzvah
2. Logistics: Rehearsals, invitations, party, and preparing the kiddush,
Shabbat Services 9:30am - 12:15pm (ish):
Amitim Students are required to attend Shabbat services twice a month (either Mah Tovu or sanctuary service) in order to experience the service while being a part of the community.
Please encourage your Amitim child stay in the sanctuary for Torah Service through Musaf, since those are the two parts of the service that students often lead. It is always best when families sit together, but students are always welcome to sit with classmates as well. ***All Amitim students are expected to attend every classmate’s bar / bat mitzvah to support each other.*** This brings Bnei Mitzvah families closer, both emotionally, and spiritually, to the experience of Shabbat with their Netivot Shalom family and community.
Each Amitim student works individually with a tutor on his/her specific Torah reading. This allows the students to learn the trop at their own skill level. Rabbi Bochner will distribute the list of approved tutors. If you would like to have a tutor whose name is not on our list, please make an appointment with Rabbi Creditor to discuss this.
- Tutoring typically starts about 6-9 months before the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date, or earlier if there are differentiated-learning needs.
- Payment for tutors is separate from the program and arranged by the family directly with the tutor.
Weekday Minyan the week prior to the bar or bat mitzvah:
Please attend the weekly Wednesday minyan at 7:15 am or occasional Sunday morning minyanim (check the online schedule at netivotshalom.org for the schedule). At a weekday minyan preceding the student’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah, each student will experience the mitzvah of hanachat tefillin (wearing tefillin). Family members, Amitim classmates and other community members are welcome to join us! This is also a good chance to take photos with the Torah. Please contact the organizers of the weekday minyanim to let them know when your son / daughter will be attending. It is a sweet tradition for the B'nai Mitzvah family to bring some nosh as a celebration at the end of minyan!
Rehearsals: Amitim families may choose to hold a rehearsal of the service, which also provides opportunity for photography, which does not happen on Shabbat. This is optional, and to be arranged by the family, the tutor, and the shul office.
Invitations: All Amitim students and teachers should be invited to the service and other festivities. Invitations to family and friends who are not members of Netivot Shalom can not exceed 150 people. This number is to ensure that the Shabbat Services are safe and enjoyable for all including out of town guests and local members of the congregation. One never knows how many invited guests will be able to attend a celebration and inviting more than this number creates a crowded sanctuary and a Shabbat experience that is not positive.
Note: Please indicate to all visitors and guests, family and friends, that cell-phones and cameras are not allowed at Netivot Shalom on Shabbat, either during or after services.
Newsletter Announcement: Bar/Bat Mitzvah services are announced in the electronic Netivot newsletter and on the synagogue website, and placed as an announcement in the J (Formerly the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California).
Parties: We require that all Amitim classmates are invited to every Bar/Bat Mitzvah party. B'nai Mitzvah Parties are not to take place on Shabbat or Holidays. No preparation for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Party can take place in shul during Shabbat or Holidays. (This means that when Shabbat ends later, Sunday might be a better day for a party). If you have any questions about this, please contact Rabbi Creditor. There are no exceptions to this policy.
Preparing For Your Kiddush:
The luncheon is generally hosted by the Bar/Bat Mitzvah family. The Kiddush is an opportunity to celebrate a Bar/Bat Mitzvah and therefore the entire congregation is invited. The Kiddush is a Seudat Mitzvah (festive meal celebrating the fulfillment of a mitzvah). Families can express the spirit of the Seudat Mitzvah by providing a simple or more elaborate meal. Please remember: the Kiddush should not be a financial hardship on any family; rather, the intent is to celebrate your simcha with the whole congregation. Amitim families can form groups to help one another organize and prepare the Kiddush. All permitted caterers are listed on the Netivot Shalom website. If you have any questions about this, please contact Rabbi Creditor.
KASHRUT: Netivot’s Kashrut policy is available on our website at netivotshalom.org. If you have any questions you can contact the Kiddush Coordinator. Note: For kashrut-specific questions contact Rabbi Creditor directly. You can ask our office for a list of kosher caterers.
Some Quick Helpful Points
- Everything to be served at the Kiddush must be cooked before Shabbat. You can cut, slice, and toss on Shabbat.
Compostable plates, cups, and napkins, and metal cutlery and trays are supplied by Netivot.
For a regular Shabbat service, plan on serving food for about 150 Netivot Shalom congregants PLUS the number of guests you are inviting.