Coming of age is a joyous moment for a family to celebrate. At the Leo Baeck Centre, in line with our principles of equality, all new teenagers are able to celebrate Bar/Bat or Beit Mitzvah soon after they reach 13. All participate fully in leading the service.
Students leave our Sh’ma Jewish education program and enter our Beit Mitzvah preparation program about nine months before their Beit Mitzvah. The preparation group meets on Monday from 5.15pm – 6.30pm, as well as occasional meetings 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 address, while Sunday afternoons are a chance to explore an aspect of Judaism with the Rabbi. Beit Mitzvah students are expected to regularly attend Saturday morning synagogue in the year leading up to their Beit Mitzvah.
Beit Mitzvah workshop
As part of these sessions, we have an adult mentoring program which 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 Beit Mitzvah, we run a ‘Six Star Program’, where we encourage students to return six times in the year after their Beit Mitzvah and be part of the Shabbat service. On the anniversary of their Beit 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 Beit Mitzvah, families need to be members of LBC, while for entry into the Beit 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 a number of Batei Mitzvah each year, so it is important to make a calendar booking well in advance. Please contact the office for further information.