A young person’s 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 their Beit Mitzvah typically soon after they reach 13 years of age. As an integral aspect of our approach, all Beit Mitzvah students experience the honour to participate fully in leading the Saturday Shabbat 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’s after school, as well as occasional workshops on a Sunday afternoon. A parent is required to also attend the Sunday afternoon meetings.
During weekly meetings students learn how to lead a Shabbat morning service, as well as how to write their own address, while Sunday afternoons are a chance to explore aspects 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 the Beit Mitzvah workshop, we provide an adult mentoring program which allows 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 to lead parts 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 preferable 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 Beit Mitzvah each year, so it is important to make a calendar booking well in advance. Please contact the Office for further information.
(03) 9819 7160