Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a significant Jewish life cycle event -- an exciting time in the lives of our members and the life of our community. The Bar or Bat Mitzvah marks an important step in the spiritual growth of each student. 


When our students become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, they are, in essence, saying that they are ready to take on the responsibilities of being a knowledgeable, responsible Jew. They are invited to lead the service, chant or read from the Torah and the Haftarah (the prophetic reading), and write and deliver a D’var Torah, a teaching from their Torah portion. Each Bar/Bat Mitzvah is unique, and the Rabbis will work with your family to create a special, personalized experience that your entire family will enjoy.


We revel in the fact that another young person has taken on our traditions and teachings for him/herself. Truly, this is the Mitzvah for the child, the parent, and our people.

At TI, Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies are celebrated at congregational Shabbat services on Saturday mornings at 11:00 A.M. Adults who wish to become Bar/Bat Mitzvah typically do so in the context of a Friday evening Shabbat service.


While students receive the date of the bar/bat mitzvah service in 4th grade, their formal preparation begins approximately 5 months in advance. This preparation process is as meaningful an experience as the service itself. Our students study diligently for 5 months prior to their service with our b’nai mitzvah tutor and the rabbis, studying principally their Torah and Haftarah portions. A hard copy of our Bar/Bat Mitzvah Handbook which details the entire process is available for those who want more information, or see it here.




In order to celebrate a Bar/Bat Mitzvah at Temple Israel, the following is required:

  1. Students must have completed a minimum of three (3) years of both Religious School and Hebrew School training or its equivalent as determined by the Director of Youth Education.
  2. Family membership in Congregation Temple Israel must be in good standing for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah date to be set and ceremony held.
  3. Students must be enrolled and in good standing in the Religious School through and including the Bar/Bat Mitzvah year.
  4. All Bar/Bat Mitzvah students must receive their last 4 months of Bar/Bat Mitzvah training by a Temple Israel approved tutor.

While this ceremony represents a significant achievement along the way, it is not to be perceived as the goal toward which the child is striving in religious education.  Our students are expected to continue their religious education at least through Confirmation.  Participation in the Bar/Bat Mitzvah program implies a commitment to continue in Religious School through 10th grade.

The celebration of Bar/Bat Mitzvah takes place within the context of a regular Shabbat morning service.


If you have other questions regarding the B’nai Mitzvah process, please contact Rabbi Michael Alper at (314) 432-8050.

Additional Information:

Click here to access our prayer practice audio files.
Many families host Kiddush following a Bar/Bat Mitzvah service. Click here for more information on TI's catering service.

We encourage B’nai Mitzvah families to host their celebrations at TI. Click here for more information about renting our facility.
 If you are and adult and would like to become Bar or Bat Mitzvah click here to visit our Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah page.