Judaism, done right, has the power to save your life from being spent entirely on the trivial......But it can do more than that. Its goal is not just to make your life more satisfying. Its goal is not the survival of the Jewish people. That is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The ultimate goal is to transform the world into the kind of world God had in mind when He created it.
— Rabbi Harold Kushner
“Bar/Bat Mitzvah” literally means “son/daughter of the commandment.” Technically, the term refers to the child who is coming of age, and it is correct to refer to someone as "becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah." Every Jew by the age of thirteen years is a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. This means that he or she counts in a minyan, may bless the Torah and is obligated to observe the mitzvot. However, the term is more commonly used to refer to the coming of age ceremony itself, and you are more likely to hear that someone is "having a Bar Mitzvah" or "invited to a Bat Mitzvah”. A ceremony often marks this occasion, but is not required.
The purpose of our guidebook is to explain the procedures and requirements for Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony preparation at SRJC and to answer many of the questions that often come up during this exciting time. This guide is a transitional document. It will be updated as circumstances change and as suggestions for improvement are made. We realize that no written document can anticipate all concerns, so please feel free to contact Rabbi Cohen or Susan Pavane for answers to any questions you may have.
Shabbat aliyot forms for your simcha available here.