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B’nei Mitzvah Program

Using a creative collaborative approach to learning, the B’nei Mitzvah Program at Habonim is a fun and meaningful way to engage with Jewish living. Students meet with a group of their synagogue peers to learn about what is involved in becoming a Bat/Bar Mitzvah from the formal ceremony to the obligations and opportunities it brings.  Students should leave the program with a deeper understanding of what it means to be Jewish and the many ways to express it.  They will gain knowledge of the larger Jewish community and how they might connect to it.   

Here are some of the program’s components:

Torah Study - Students will have a chance to explore and question the weekly parashat.

Prayers and Blessings - Students will consider how some of Judaism’s principal prayers and blessings might contribute meaning and inspiration to everyday life.

Jewish Vocabulary - From Aliyah and Brit to Yehuda and Zionism, students will be encouraged to develop an understanding of key Jewish terms and concepts, including those related to the Bat/Bar Mitzvah process and other life cycle events.  

Hebrew - The focus is on developing or advancing Hebrew reading skills for all levels.

Jewish Time - Students will learn how the Jewish calendar works and about the holidays (including Shabbat) that shape our years.

Mitzvot, Middot and Tikun Olam - We’ll consider Commandments and Jewish values as they relate to our lives and the world around us.  We’ll have opportunities to participate in Mitzvah projects together and engage in Tikun Olam. 

Israel - From Masada to music videos and matkot, we’ll explore our connections to Israel’s past, present and future.

Book Club - We’ll have the chance to engage with Jewish literature intended for teens. 

Jewish History - We’ll look at a timeline of Jewish history and then draw closer to events such as the Holocaust through our community’s stories.

Jewish Toronto - We’ll look at the many Jewish organizations doing important work in our city and beyond.

Independent Projects - Students will pursue their curiosity about aspects of Jewish identity and share their discoveries with the group.

Guest Speakers & Field Trips - We hope to have opportunities to learn from visitors, including Habonim clergy, and to visit sites of Jewish interest in the G.T.A.  

FAQ’s

1. Do I have to be a member of Habonim to sign up my child for the program?

No.  This program is open to members and non-members.

2. I don’t know when or where my child’s Bat/Bar Mitzvah might be or if we’ll have a traditional or formal event.  Can I still sign them up?

Yes.  And non-members are welcome to inquire about having their child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah at Habonim.

3. What age or grade should my child be to take the program?

Typically, students complete the program before or right after their Bat/Bar Mitzvah.  If your simcha is in 2022 you will likely want to register your child for the program beginning in September 2021.  But we are flexible about this so while most students will be in grade 7, they could be in grade 6 or 8.

4. When is the B’nei Mitzvah Program offered?

The program consists of weekly Sunday classes from September through May.  In the past there have been afternoon classes some years and morning classes in other years.  The plan for 2021/22 and going forward is to run the program on Sunday mornings from 9:30-11:30.

5. Will classes be in person or online or both?

In 2020/21 the program was delivered online.  We are hoping to offer in-person classes beginning September 2021 but are considering ways to allow students to join in-person classes remotely.

6. For in-person classes, will Covid safety measures be observed?

Yes.  Registered students and their parent/guardian(s) will be made aware of Habonim’s Covid safety protocols before the first class.

7. I also have kids in the K-6 program at the Jewish Heritage School.  Can I register all my kids through the school?

No.  The two programs are separate and so registration is as well.  (In the past we have participated in events together but Covid restrictions may not allow this).  

8.  Do I still need to hire a tutor for my child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation?

Yes. Students in the program will learn what a Bat/Bar Mitzvah entails but will need to work with a private tutor to prepare their actual Torah portion etc.

9. What is the cost of the program?

If you have booked your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah at Habonim, the cost of the program is included in the booking fee.  Otherwise it is $400 for members and $500 for non-members. Upon registration you’ll be contacted to arrange for payment.

10. My child hasn’t attended a Jewish education program before. Is this a prerequisite?

No.  The program aims to provide a warm and inclusive learning environment for all.

b) My child attends a Jewish day school. Can they still benefit from this program?

Yes! They will meet new friends at Habonim and develop their sense of synagogue and community connection in anticipation of the Jewish milestone they are approaching together. All students will be challenged to learn and participate by playing an active role in shaping the program.

For more information or to receive a registration form, contact Suzanne Hersh suzanne.habonim@gmail.com 

 

     

 

 

Thu, September 23 2021 17 Tishrei 5782