By taking this step on your journey, you are affirming your connection with the Jewish people and our tradition. In addition to the many who will wish you a mazal tov (congratulations) on completing your childhood studies of Judaism, we also extend a todah rabbah (thank you) for establishing your identity within our 3500 year history, a todah rabbah for claiming your place within the modern adult Jewish community, and a todah rabbah for leading us into the future.
The process of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is not easy. As you already know, it requires years of study and practice. Yet, Bar/Bat Mitzvah is an age, not an event. It is a status that you achieve by learning to lead a service, but even more so, it is a title you earn by understanding the importance of community and mitzvot (sacred obligations). Part of the process of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is fulfilling mitzvot, which can be a wonderful experience, not just for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah but for the entire family. The practice of these mitzvot can also be seen as a start to a life of finding greater meaning within our tradition.
Preparing to lead the service is an obvious goal of our study program. Our tutors and clergy will build upon the groundwork established within our Religious School program. You will learn to read prayers with confidence, sing with pride, and inspire our congregation through your words. Our goal during these months is to help hone your Hebrew skills so that you will feel more at home within our TAE worship services, and also so that you will feel a greater sense of comfort in any synagogue during your lifetime.
Finally, our hope is that through this process you feel embraced by the Jewish community. It is a privilege and joy for our Rabbis and Cantor to be able to spend this private time with you. They treasure this opportunity to open doors for you and to show you the possibilities within Judaism.
Thank you for embarking on this experience with us. May it be filled with blessings and love, a sense of accomplishment and pride, and the beginning of many good things to come.