Shtiebel Bnei Mitzvah Roadmap:
There are three main areas of preparation for a Shtiebel bar or bat mitzvah:
- Creation of D'var Torah.
- Preparing to co-lead the service and read Torah.
- Designing and carrying out a mitzvah project.
All three of these aspects of the B’nai Mitzvah experience should be started at least six months before the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date (to be chosen in conjunction with the rabbi).
I.CREATION OF D’VAR TORAH
Schedule meetings (4-6) with Rabbi to study together.
Read through English translation of entire Parashah(Torah portion)
Create written summary of Parashah
Read through summaries of commentaries on Parashah
Read Midrashim (interpretive stories) related to Parashah
Following discussions with Rabbi, create outline of D’var Torah
Following further discussion with Rabbi, create draft of D’var Torah
Final D’var Torah should include (a) summary of Parashah; (b) summary of some commentaries of learned Jewish thinkers; (c) related Midrashim; (d) interpretation of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah; and (e) how the Parashah/interpretations affect the Bar/Bat Mitzvah personally
II.PREPARE TO LEAD SHABBAT MORNING SERVICE and READ TORAH
Hire a tutor. Rabbi Ben will consult with the tutor to provide a clear learning plan including the specific Torah readings and prayers that the bnei mitzvah will learn.
In conjunction with the tutor and rabbi, the bnei mitzvah will:
Read through English translation of the weekly Parashah(portion) and then choose a section that is most meaningful to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. These are the lines that the Bar/Bat Mitzvah will learn and chant at the service.
Learn and review their Torah reading.
Review and learn prayers for co-leading the service
Create a personalized siddur that will be used at the service.
III.DESIGN AND CARRY OUT A MITZVAH PROJECT
Bnei Mitzvah will work with Rabbi Ben and parents to:
Create a Mitzvah Project to be carried out by the time of Bar/Bat Mitzvah
Mitzvah Project doesn’t need to be huge; it can encompass almost anything – making something, teaching something, raising money for a cause, etc. Consult Mitzvah Project Idea Book (ask B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator) for ideas.
Make sure that the project truly reflects the interests and priorities of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah