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Bar and Bat Mitzvah Timeline at Am Shalom

The process of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah affords a family many opportunities to work together, building memories from shared experiences as your student prepares for what may prove to be their most meaningful long term assignment.

We appreciate that each person has individual learning styles and we recognize the need to be flexible with our students, so the overview below is a chronological map to help you navigate your child’s journey as they become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

Most of your appointments can be made using our online scheduling portal, Schedulicity.

4th grade — Bet Hebrew Level (2nd year of Hebrew School) 
Dates are assigned at the end of 4th grade. You will be contacted in the spring of your child's 4th grade year to offer your preferences for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah date. Students are required to be enrolled in our Religious School to receive a date.

5th grade -- Gimmel Hebrew Level (3rd year of Hebrew School)
Students will continue their Hebrew learning and attend Religious School.

Approximately 18 months before the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date: Family B'nai Mitzvah University
This is a required three-session family class (student and at least one parent) with the rabbis and cantor. The class is a mandatory and integral part of your family's preparation for the B'nai Mitzvah process. The class takes place approximately 18 months before the Bar or Bat Mitzvah date, usually in April or October. You will receive an invitation to register for the class.

12-14 months prior to your Bar/Bat Mitzvah service: Initial meeting with Rabbi Lowenstein
Families will meet with Rabbi Steven Lowenstein to discuss how the Bar/Bat Mitzvah process will work for your family and receive your Torah portion book and learning materials. (students attend this meeting with parent(s) **Please bring all your learning materials to ALL your sessions.

Appoximately 9 months prior: Individual Tutorial Begins
Students will be assigned an individual tutor to review their prayers and assist in learning the Torah and Haftarah portions. In addition, students will spend about 6 weeks working with the cantor in the weeks immediately prior to the service. Some families choose to engage their own private tutors, and we ask that you communicate this choice with us.

6 months prior: Six Month Rabbi Check In Meeting
At this meeting we will check in on your progress in terms of Religious School attendance, the Mitzvah Journal, attending services and meeting with your tutor. In addition, you'll read through and start to discuss the meaning of your Torah portion in preparation for the process of writing your D'var Torah (Torah speech). (students attend this meeting with parent(s)

5 months prior: Meet with Cantor
You will meet with the Cantor for a half-hour assessment of all materials and to arrange your future appointments with the Cantor. Please call or email the clergy assistant for an appointment (students attend this meeting with parent(s).

4 months prior: Rabbi Meeting
You will talk about your Torah portion with one of the rabbis and discuss some of the choices you’ve made for the Talmud Torah section of the Mitzvah Journal. You will receive some important information about the service itself. You will work in the Mitzvah Journal and begin to write your D’var Torah (Torah speech) after this meeting. (students attend this meeting with parent(s)

3 months prior: Meet with Cantor
Note that this appointment will be scheduled at your 5 month Cantor Assessment appointment. (students attend this meeting with parent(s)

2 months prior: Rabbi Meeting
Students will present a draft of the D’var Torah, discuss the choices you’ve made for the Avodah section of the Mitzvah Journal, and begin to prepare your Bar/Bat Mitzvah Prayer (page 18-19 in the Mitzvah Journal) and read from the Torah in the Sanctuary.Please schedule Sanctuary Time as well. (students attend this meeting with parent(s)

6 weeks prior: Transition to Weekly Appointments with the Cantor 
Students will begin receiving individual tutoring from the cantor approximately five weeks prior to your Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Note that these appointments will be scheduled at your 5 month Cantor Assessment appointment.

1 month prior: Rabbi Meeting
A final version of the student’s D’var Torah and a draft of their Bar/Bat Mitzvah Prayer will be presented at this meeting, as well as finishing preparations for the final rehearsal. (students attend this meeting with parent(s)

Within the week prior: Final Rehearsal
You will present all of your prayers, your speeches, and your Torah/Haftorah reading in the sanctuary with the Rabbi. Please wear the shoes that will be worn for the service. Only immediate family needs to attend this rehearsal, extended family does not.

2-3 weeks after the Ceremony
Meet with Rabbi Sommer to reflect on your experience, evaluate our program and discuss next steps.  (students attend this meeting with parent(s)

Most of your appointments can be made using our online scheduling portal, Schedulicity.

Fri, November 15 2019 17 Cheshvan 5780