Brit Milah /
Death & Mourning
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There are few occasions in the life of a Jewish family as moving and important as a Bar or Bat (B’nai, for plural) Mitzvah. And nothing brings more joy to the BZBI community than to welcome a cherished young person into adult Jewish life.
At BZBI, our clergy and community strives to do all it can to smooth this happy – and sometimes stressful - transition. Along with Rabbi Stone and Cantor Grainer, our Hebrew School works hard to prepare each family for this most important milestone. We’re here for you and your child.
One of the chief ways our congregation helps students and parents is through the BZBI B’nai Mitzvah Manual. The manual contains the policies, philosophy and specific information related to becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah at BZBI. Parents of B’nai Mitzvah students can read through the manual to gain an understanding of our approach to the celebration. The manual is also an important reference for all aspects of the preparation process. We hope you’ll give this important document a good look. To see the BZBI B’nai Mitzvah Manual, please click here.
Who Do I Speak to About B’nai Mitzvah Preparation?
The Who’s Who at BZBI form on page 28 in the B'nai Mitzvah Manual lists all BZBI staff and clergy responsible for aspects of the B’nai Mitzvah program. For further information, please feel free to contact Cantor Grainer
How Can I Set a Date For My Child’s B’nai Mitzvah?
Please refer to the Checklist and Timeline for Bar/Bat Mitzvah on page 32-33 in the B'nai Mitzvah Manual for a month-by-month checklist for becoming a B’nai Mitzvah at BZBI. The timeline begins 18 months before the B’nai Mitzvah date and contains references to the appropriate sections of the manual for your use.
I’ve Heard of BZBI’s Mitzvah Project. What Is It?
The Mitzvah Project at BZBI gives the B’nai Mitzvah an opportunity to do a mitzvah ben adam l’chavaroh, “a commandment between a person and his or her fellow human beings.” Each child is expected to create a charitable project that speaks to his or her own individual ideas about giving.
By requiring such a project from our B’nai Mitzvah candidates, our synagogue hopes to demonstrate the importance of mitzvot in living a life according to Jewish values. Details are contained in the Mitzvah Project Guide.
Please inform Rabbi Stone as to the nature of your child’s mitzvah project no later than 6 months prior to your B’nai Mitzvah date. For help in deciding on a project, contact the Mitzvah Project Coordinator. All students should discuss their project with the Mitzvah Project Coordinator prior to starting any mitzvah project.
How Can I Arrange Honors And Aliyot?
An aliyah is a wonderful way to honor friends, family and/or teachers.
Parents who are assigning honors or aliyot should read all of the information in the B’nai Mitzvan Manual regarding honors and aliyot carefully, and discuss any questions they may have with the rabbi or cantor. Parents may also refer their honorees to the FAQs section under "Worship" to find instructions for how to do an aliyah or other honors during a service.
You may click here for an Honors/Aliyah Form which will then be submitted to the Cantor (see pages 32-33 in the B'nai Mitzvah Manual for deadlines). That information will be provided to our gabbaim (members helping with the Torah service) prior to your service date.
Food and Catering For Your B’nai Mitzvah: BZBI Facilities, Event Planning and Caterers.
It is customary for the family to sponsor an after-service Kiddush on Shabbat morning. A traditional Kiddush table is considered a continuation of the Shabbat morning service and all members of the congregation, as well as your guests, are invited.
Parents or other family members may wish to host a Kiddush Luncheon after the Shabbat Morning Service. All food arrangements must be made through the Executive Director about 3 months in advance of your B’nai Mitzvah. See our Simcha Specials Form for information about Room Rentals and sponsoring Flowers and Kiddush.
For an additional private luncheon, you may choose to use a caterer from our List of Approved Caterers on page 39 of the B'nai Mitzvah Manual. Please check with the Executive Director to see if there are updates to any of this information.
Information about food choices and prices will be provided by the caterers.
If you plan to use an outside caterer, we advise making these arrangements at least 8 months prior to your event and in cooperation with the Executive Director.
Catering for additional B’nai Mitzvah meals
BZBI and its kitchen facilities observe kashrut. We maintain seperate kosher meat and dairy kitchens and observe Shabbat and Holy Days in keeping with these principles.
Friday night dinner
Some families choose to host a Friday night dinner at BZBI for their out-of-town guests and family. Please contact the Executive Director about 8 months prior to your event to discuss space availability.