Bar/Bat Mitzvah (‘Son/Daughter of the Commandments’) refers to the religious coming-of-age of a young person and the attendant ceremony and celebration held in the synagogue. A bar or bat mitzvah assumes his or her religious obligations and can be counted in the minyan (prayer quorum). Traditionally, girls would come of age at twelve and boys at thirteen but in the Reform Jewish tradition, the age for both genders has been equalised at thirteen.
Becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah can mark a process of personal transformation and growth for a young teen and our B’nei Mitzvah education (Kivunim) seeks to instil in our students both a love of Judaism and an inquisitive mind to explore what contemporary Judaism means to them. Cantor Rachel Weston and tutors prepare the child for reading Torah, giving a D’var Torah (short personal thoughts) on the weekly Torah portion and leading as much of the service as their ability permits. Boys are expected to wear a tallit (prayer shawl) and kippah (head covering) during the ceremony and we encourage girls to do the same.
A communal Bar/Bat Mitzvah is an occasion of great joy – not only for the family but also for the community and if the family chooses to do so, they can offer a Kiddush (light lunch after the service) in celebration. Please be in touch with Cantor Rachel Weston for inquiries and enrolling your child, and with the Office for more information on Kiddush packages.