Coming of age is a joyous moment for a family to celebrate. At the Leo Baeck Centre, in line with our principles of equality, both boys and girls are able to celebrate Bar or Bat Mitzvah when they reach 13. Both participate fully in leading the service.
Students leave our Sh’ma Jewish education program and enter our Bar/ Bat Mitzvah preparation program about nine months before their Bar / Bat Mitzvahs. The preparation group meets on a week day from 5pm – 6pm, as well as once a month on a Sunday afternoon. A parent is required at the Sunday afternoon meeting.
Weekly meetings see students learning how to lead a Shabbat morning service, as well as writing their own sermons, while Sunday afternoons are a chance to explore an aspect of Judaism with the Rabbi. Bar / Bat Mitzvah students are expected to regularly attend Saturday morning synagogue in the year leading up to their Bar / Bat Mitzvah.
As well as these classes, each Bar / Bat Mitzvah student is paired with an adult mentor for a series of sessions that allow students to explore aspects of their Jewish knowledge and identity. Contact with mentors expands the students’ networks within the congregation, and students are encouraged to ask questions and to challenge both their own and others’ views.
Following Bar/ Bat Mitzvah, we run a ‘Six Star Program’, where we encourage students to return six times in the year after their Bar/ Bat Mitzvah and be part of the Shabbat service. On the anniversary of their Bar / Bat Mitzvah, we offer students the chance to come back and either re-read their Torah portion or be involved in the service in another way.
In order to have a Bar/ Bat Mitzvah, families need to be members of LBC, while for entry into the Bar/ Bat Mitzvah preparation program, it is necessary for the child to have had two years of Jewish education either at our Sh’ma program or at a Jewish day school.
At Leo Baeck Centre, we celebrate many Bar / Bat Mitzvahs each year, so it is important to booking in advance. Contact the office for further information.