Kehillat Israel Reconstructionist Congregation performs approximately 90 B’nai Mitzvah services each year. Our students study at our Jewish Experience Center (K-12 religious school) to prepare for this big day. Many of our students begin Jewish Experience Center (JEC) at KI in Kindergarten, but they are required to attend the Jewish Experience Center from 4th grade until 7th grade in order to properly prepare for the B’nai Mitzvah.
During their time in the JEC, our students attend weekly tefilla (services) where they begin to learn the prayers. They also have Hebrew and Judaica classes weekly which help them to learn not only the Hebrew language, but also the Jewish traditions surrounding prayer, holidays, Israel, and Torah.
Our families usually select a B’nai Mitzvah date for their child during the 4th grade. Then, the kick-off event is the B’nai Mitzvah Retreat the students attend with their families in the Spring of their 6th grade year. During this retreat, the students and their parents attend sessions to begin thinking about the B’nai Mitzvah process and what it means to them, individually and collectively.
We all participate in Shabbat services, as well as sessions from everything to discussing the Torah portions each child will have to speaking with our in-house caterer to learn about planning the party, and everything in between.
Six months prior to the B’nai Mitzvah date, our students begin their studies with Cantor Frenkel and their B’nai Mitzvah Tutor. The first session for the student and parents is a spiritual interview with Cantor Frenkel. This is a chance for Cantor Frenkel to get to know each student and his/her parents and begin to delve into the real meaning of B’nai Mitzvah for all of them.
Then, students study once a week with their assigned B’nai Mitzvah Tutor, reviewing their prayers and learning their individual Torah portions. For the last month prior to the student’s B’nai Mitzvah, Cantor Frenkel rehearses with the student and helps the family to finalize all the plans for their big day.
Rabbi Bernstein or Rabbi Renner will officiate at every Bar or Bat Mitzvah throughout the year. Approximately six weeks prior to the date of the service each family will meet together with the officiating rabbi for a spiritual and educational orientation to the meaning of Bar and Bat Mitzvah. Following the family meeting the rabbis meet individually with each child weekly for the five weeks leading up to the service to help them create their Bar or Bat Mitzvah speeches.
If you are interested in having a B’nai Mitzvah here at KI, please contact Hilary Wolf, Executive Assistant to the Cantor and B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator at 424.214.7464 to discuss possible dates and any other questions or concerns you may have. We welcome new members and would be thrilled to celebrate this rite of passage with you and your family.
Help End Hunger with a Food Donation Display
Table Centerpieces also available
Remember those less fortunate during family celebrations and community events
All donated food is distributed through the Westside Food Bank to local social service agencies assisting needy people in our community.
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Read about our past B’nai Mitzvah projects to get inspired – compassion and pride beam from our children’s words.