JRC B’nai/B’rit Mitzvah Policies
JRC’s Board of Directors maintains a set of policies regarding B’nai Mitzvah.
Updated February 2013
A student must be registered in religious school for the year of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah and complete a minimum of two years of religious study at the JRC Religious School or a Jewish day school, immediately prior to the year in which their Bar/Bat Mitzvah service is to take place.
This requires, at minimum, two years of paid membership by the student’s household being members in good standing. Thus, a student should normally complete, at minimum, the 5th and 6th grades and be enrolled in the 7th grade.
An exception to this policy can be made for families that are newly arrived in the area or changing their synagogue affiliation, contingent on the approval of the Rabbi, the Cantor and the Religious School Director.
All B’nai Mitzvah occur on or near the student’s thirteenth birthday.
A competency assessment of all incoming students to JRC B’nai Mitzvah tutoring would be made by the Cantor.
For students with special needs, the family should schedule a meeting with the clergy at least 2-3 years prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah year. In these cases, competency assessment will be sensitive to each child’s needs.
If the student cannot practically attain the necessary levels of competency within the usual time prior to the planned Bar/Bat Mitzvah date, the event must be rescheduled for a later date.
Each student is required to attend a minimum of ten (10) JRC Shabbat services before his/her B’nai Mitzvah date, beginning from the time he/she is assigned a B’nai Mitzvah date.
If the cantor determines that the student needs a significant amount of additional tutoring or resources, the parents must pay for this additional cost.
This additional preparation is not conducted by the Cantor.
The B’nai Mitzvah Service
JRC considers the Bar/Bat Mitzvah to be a congregational Shabbat morning service led by the Rabbi and Cantor. All efforts in preparation for this service should emphasize its communal nature.
B’nai Mitzvah is a celebration for the entire JRC community. The congregation as a whole is encouraged to attend B’nai Mitzvah in its context as a Shabbat Morning Service.
Families are expected to invite the student’s entire class to the service and also to the following Kiddush and/or luncheon, if it is held at JRC.
B’nai Mitzvah are scheduled between the months of September and June.
Partnership (doubling-up B’nai Mitzvah at the same service) will be jointly determined by JRC’s clergy, staff and the JRC scheduler.
Families may indicate their wishes regarding partnerships to the JRC scheduler. All requests will be taken into consideration, but it should be understood that accommodating requests may not be possible in all circumstances.