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Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah 2019/2020

The Class of 2016/17 at their first Oneg Shabbat Dinner

The Class of 2016/17 at their first Oneg Shabbat Dinner

For 2019/2020: We are recruiting families with young people who are at least age 13 in 2020 to early 2021. Our next b’nei mitzvah program will begin in the autumn of 2019, when we will welcome a small cohort of candidates.

You can expect: a learning enrichment program that will include a series of workshops and sessions with the youngsters, as well as their families; social opportunities for families at oneg Shabbat, a tour of Jewish Toronto and other excursions; a Tzedekah project, and more.

The classes and sessions run mainly on Sunday mornings, at a central location. The cost for this year’s learning enrichment program is $800 ($825 by PayPal).

For the simcha (bar or bat mitzvah ceremony), Rabbi Goldberg guides each family through the process, personalizing the ritual to make it one truly meaningful, while ensuring that each candidate understands her or his role in the community as well as the ability to make a difference (Tikkun Olam). She leads each bar or bat mitzvah ceremony, usually with a chazzan from our chazzanut team, in front of the congregation at Shabbat services. There, family, friends and members of Shir Libeynu attend to celebrate this important milestone. By participating at monthly Shabbat services and other Shir Libeynu events, the cohort’s young people will be developing a bond with each other and the community, which in turn will be fulfilling the action of l’dor v’dor (from generation to generation).

Click here for a registration form for the 2019/2020 B’nei Mitzvah enrichment program.  Our administrator, Natalie Wallach, can help you with any questions about the enrichment sessions and also walk you through the steps necessary to booking and planning a bar/bat mitzvah simcha with the shul.

It is not too early to make inquiries and commit to the program NOW, so you can be assured of a place and a time next year; as a community without a permanent site, our limited spaces fill up quickly. Planning for your child becoming a bar or bat mitzvah includes lots of steps, and we will walk you through them and inform you of costs, expectations and other details. Write our administrator, Natalie Wallach, at: admin@shirlibeynu.ca.

Our B’nei Mitzvah learning-enrichment instructor is Elise Eisenkraft Klein, an Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) certified teacher, having recently attained the Master of Teaching (MT) from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. She graduated from McGill with an undergraduate degree in Jewish history and women & gender studies. She previously worked as a teacher at a progressive Jewish Sunday school, and one-on-one with children of many backgrounds and learning styles. Elise has been involved in Klezmer music scenes and Jewish cultural and artistic communities for many years, including at the annual Klezkanada retreat. As a member of the Jewstice League Klezmer Ensemble, she has performed at Shir Libeynu functions and other gigs in Toronto and Montreal. Elise has attended our shul with her family for more than 18 years, where she has volunteered with our children’s programs and as a violin accompanist to the choir and chazzan.

The 2017/18 class with Rabbi Goldberg and their teacher, Elise Eisenkraft Klein (Graduation: May 27, 2018)

Also, look at our site page for more information on what we offer and what we expect of you.

And remember, if you have younger children who are more than a year away from becoming bar/bat mitzvah, it’s not too early to introduce them to our haymishe and inclusive community, and some Jewish learning, by bringing them to shul every month or by registering them in our weekly Shir Libeynu School Supplemental Jewish Learning Program (for ages seven to 11). Our Shabbat services are very accessible. Even very young ones are welcome to participate in our Young Children’s Program in a nearby classroom and /or to join us in the chapel, too.

More information

Please let your friends and family members know about our program.