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B'nei Mitzvah at T&V

Mazal tov on reaching this milestone in your child's life!

We look forward to sharing your simcha (joy) and celebrating with you. This guide is intended to clarify the T&V b'nei mitzvah process.

Click here for a sample b'nei mitzvah timeline to further help you plan.


Setting a Date
B'nei mitzvah dates of T&V members are set by Cantor Postman when each child is in fifth grade. To discuss your date or make changes, please contact Cantor Postman at cantor@tandv.org. Please note that each member enjoys his or her own b'nei mitzvah date; however, other celebrations may occur on the same date (e.g., a baby naming, aufruf, etc.). While most b'nei mitzvah ceremonies happen on Shabbat morning, other possible timing can be discussed with Cantor Postman.

Please note that, in order to pursue a b'nei mitzvah with T&V, a family must have been members for at least three years.

 

Tutoring and Educational Programs
At Town & Village Synagogue, we work to determine the best personalized path for each b'nei mitzvah student. Students work one-on-one with the Cantor and Rabbi: each student prepares for Torah and Haftarah chanting as well as various other parts of the service with Cantor Postman and for a D'var Torah (a speech on the Torah or Haftarah portion) with Rabbi Sebert.
Students in grades 5-7 and their families are required to participate in T&V’s b’nei mitzvah program, which includes attending services and participating in other meaningful learning experiences with peers. Children preparing for a b'nei mitzvah are expected to be involved in an approved Jewish educational program.

 

B'nei Mitzvah Fees
There is a $1,000 B'nei Mitzvah fee which is billed to the family’s account and due one year before the b'nei mitzvah date.

 

Kiddush
The b'nei mitzvah family sponsors a catered kiddush (reception) for their guests and the congregation in the Bierman Social Hall. Kiddush options are available at a number of price points. Families who have a ceremony at a time other than Shabbat morning sponsor a Shabbat morning Kiddush to celebrate with the congregation. Contact our Synagogue Administrator, Carol Slotkin (office@tandv.org), to discuss logistics and approved caterers.

 

Kippot
Customarily, families order inscribed kippot (Jewish skullcaps) for this celebration. Please bring kippot to the synagogue office the week before the b'nei mitzvah (we have baskets available) as well as bobby pins.

 

Flowers
Some families order flower arrangements for the bimah (altar) and for Kiddush tables. Please contact Carol Slotkin, our Synagogue Administrator at office@tandv.org, before ordering.

 

A Gift
Many b'nei mitzvah families give the synagogue a gift in honor of both the occasion and the personal support provided by the rabbi, the cantor, and congregants. Please contact our Synagogue Administratorr in advance to discuss options.

At T&V, we believe everyone in our community should enjoy a b'nei mitzvah regardless of financial circumstances. We invite you to speak to our Synagogue Administrator with any financial questions or concerns.

 

Torah Reading
Family members and special guests may want to share in the simcha by reading Torah. Please arrange this with the Cantor six months in advance.

 

Honors
One month before your child’s service, please contact Sharon Steinberg, Ritual Committee Chair. She will help you distribute honors to close relatives and friends. Honors include: aliyot (calling individuals to the Torah), raising and binding the Torah, opening the ark, carrying the Torah, and readings in Hebrew or English. Honors for non-Jewish participants are also available. Families provide the Hebrew names of those called to the Torah prior to the day and indicate if they are a Cohen or Levi. Please note that, each Shabbat, a few honors are set aside for other members of the congregation and community.
Members of the immediate family will be invited to the bimah to offer blessings with the rabbi. Cantor Postman will provide families with PDF and mp3 files of all these blessings, and a practice session can be arranged.

 

Personalized Pamphlets
The synagogue produces a personalized pamphlet that includes a description of the service and a paragraph-length biography of the b'nei mitzvah. Email the cantor the brief bio (250-300 words) in a Word document, two weeks prior to the event. These pamphlets are handed out to arriving guests.

 

Invitations
Shabbat services begin at 9:30am and the Torah service begins around 10:15am. Guests should be advised to arrive by 10am (especially if they will be receiving an honor during the Torah service). To help your guests feel comfortable, we have prepared a card for you to include with your invitations providing information about our congregation’s Shabbat practice.

 

Photography
Photographs may not be taken on Shabbat. Many families arrange to have pictures taken at the final run-through of the b'nei mitzvah service which takes place in the sanctuary the Thursday prior.

 

Candy
There is a tradition to toss candy at the person celebrating a simcha, symbolic of our sweet wishes. Candy will be provided and distributed to people in the first few rows of the sanctuary.

 

Community
The entire T&V community is delighted to celebrate this occasion with you and your family. At the start of Kiddush, b'nei mitzvah families help lead the congregation in Kiddush and Motzi (blessings over wine & challah, respectively).
If your family has additional b'nei mitzvah-related celebrations planned, we ask that you keep in mind the religious significance of the day and that your reception be guided by Jewish tradition. This includes Kosher meals and respect for Shabbat. If your child is enrolled in Kulanu @ T&V, we ask that the entire grade be invited to the service and celebration. Keep in mind that the Social Hall is available for reasonably-priced party rental too. Call our office for more information.

 

Special Needs
As members of the T&V community, Ben and Helene Wagenberg wished to celebrate their son Max’s Bar Mitzvah, a Jewish rite of passage for every Jewish girl and boy. The only difference for their family is that Max is autistic. They created this video to share Max’s experience.

Mazal Tov!
With all of these details to think about, please feel free to contact us with any questions. We’ll be happy to connect you with a family who has recently gone through this process. Again, may we wish you a sincere “mazal tov!” We look forward to celebrating this beautiful occasion with you!

Contact Us

Rabbi Larry Sebert
212.677.8090 ext. 23 / rabbi@tandv.org

Cantor Shayna Postman
212.677.8090 ext. 25 / cantor@tandv.org

Sharon Steinberg - Chair, Ritual Committee
sharon@tandv.org

Carol Slotkin - Synagogue Administrator
212.677.8090 ext. 0 / office@tandv.org

Thu, August 18 2022 21 Av 5782