At Ramat Shalom, we take great pride in our b'nai mitzvah. This shows when they stand on our bimah and lead a Shabbat service. Each bar/bat mitzvah and his/her family is assigned their own Shabbat service. At Ramat Shalom, b'nai mitzvah do not share services. Working closely with the Rabbi and Cantorial Soloist, each bar/bat mitzvah and his/her family create their own unique Shabbat service that reflects their family and the traditions of Ramat Shalom. The bar/bat mitzvah leads a significant portion of the service. S/he chants Torah and Haftarah and gives a D'var Torah. In addition, the parents of the bar/bat mitzvah also give a D'var Torah. Family members, friends, and members of the Ramat Shalom community are invited to read Torah, take an aliyah or other honor, or share an inspiring English reading at the service. If you want to experience just how special Ramat Shalom is, please join us on a Shabbat when one of our children becomes a bar/bat mitzvah!
Approximately a year before the bar/bat mitzvah service, the bar/bat mitzvah and his/her family attend a series of B'nai Mitzvah Workshops lead by the Rabbi and Cantorial Soloist. The B'nai Mitzvah Workshops help families understand all of the important aspects of becoming a bar/bat mitzvah and allows them to become familiar with the rituals and traditions that make up a Shabbat service. The workshops are attended by other families going through the same process. Families make wonderful connections with each other as they plan for this exciting rite of passage.
Approximately six months before the bar/bat mitzvah service, the bar/bat mitzvah begins the tutoring process. First, s/he meets with the Cantorial Soloist who assesses his/her prayer skills. After this, the child is assigned a tutor who will teach the bar/bat mitzvah how to read and chant Torah. Once the bar/bat mitzvah has mastered this skill, the Cantorial Soloist begins crafting the service and practices reading from the Torah. The Rabbi works with him/her on the D'var Torah. Prior to the service the clergy will meet with the entire family and rehearse the service.