Congregation Beth Sholom celebrates each bar and bat mitzvah with great joy. We view the period of b’nai mitzvah training as a time for all family members to deepen their connection to our community. Our priority is to ensure that this milestone is a positive educational and ritual experience for both the students and their families.



  • The family must be Congregation Beth Sholom members in good standing by the time B’nai Mitzvah student is entering the B’nai Mitzvah class.
  • Three years of Religious School, the equivalent in a Jewish Day School, and demonstration of Hebrew and Judaic skills prior to the B’nai Mitzvah class.
  • Students who attend Jewish day schools are required to enroll and participate in the B’nai Mitzvah program one year prior to their B’nai Mitzvah. For students with B'nai Mitzvah after the summer of 2019 this prerequisite will change. For those students and all other afterwards the requirement will be for three years of Religious School. The prerequisites for all Beth Sholom B'nai Mitzvah students will be the same.
  • Hebrew proficiency of each student will be assessed at the beginning of the process and additional private tutoring may be required to fully support your child in his or her preparation for the ceremony.


One year before their bar / bat mitzvah date, each student begins one-on-one lessons with a CBS b’nai mitzvah tutor. The student studies trope and learns to chant their Torah portion, their haftarah, the accompanying blessings, and other parts of the Torah Service. The student also participates in a Shabbat School morning program with other b’nai mitzvah candidates; during these weekly meetings, they discuss the ethical questions that preoccupy every teenager, and also learn more about tefillah (prayer) and how to prepare a thoughtful drash (an interpretive teaching about their assigned Torah reading).

During the course of their b’nai mitzvah preparation, each student must also complete a social-action project, ideally working for a cause that resonates with him or her.

2 – 3 months prior to the bar / bat mitzvah date, the student will begin weekly meetings with our senior rabbi to study their Torah portion and to further develop their d’var torah, the speech given on the day of the ceremony.

Please email the CBS office to discuss your child’s preparations.



Henry Hollander

B'Nai Mitzvah Coordinator