Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community

Bar and Bat Mitzvah

Bar and Bat Mitzvah

Reaching the age of Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a major milestone in the life of a child, their family, and the entire congregation. We are thrilled to watch children grow up in the community, attend JCEP, join us at services, and become more and more at home with Jewish living. After achieving the status of Bar or Bat Mitzvah, we encourage our teens to become madrichim/coaches in JCEP, to join our Pizza  and Talmud class, and to plan other fulfilling milestones as they grow older.

Our intent is for each child who becomes a Bar or Bat Mitzvah to feel he/she has reached a spiritually meaningful time, has achieved something special, and is on the way to greater Jewish knowledge and involvement.  As a community, we aim to support the student and family along the way, through Kol Ami’s trademark warmth, flexibility, and acceptance of individual and family differences.

Our B’nai Mitzvah services follow traditional lines but offer an opportunity for creative expressions of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah student. Often the Bar/Bat Mitzvah student will lead prayers during the Shabbat service, chant from the Torah, expound on the Torah portion, and complete a mitzvah project.  Some of our Bnai Mitzvah students have accompanied our Kol Amite musicians or written poetry for the occasion. We are sensitive to the differing needs, backgrounds, and level of comfort of each child with Hebrew and with public performance.

B’nai Mitzvah students and their families hold an initial meeting with Rabbi Gilah at the start of the process, and then several additional meetings during the year before the service.  We can recommend a number of tutors in the DMV area for weekly preparations.  A rehearsal is held the week of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah service.

Here are some important resources for Bnai Mitzvah families:

— Kol Ami B’nai Mitzvah Handbook

Frequently Asked Questions for Kol Ami B’nai Mitzvah


Mitzvah Project Guidelines

Our Shabbat Morning Service (Melodies for Prayers and Torah/Haftorah Trope)

Kol Ami welcomes you taking this important step to becoming a fully responsible member of our community! Mazel tov to our B’nai Mitzvah families!

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