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Introduction

On attaining the age of mitzvot, a Jew becomes responsible for observing the religious and ethical traditions of Judaism. A Bar/Bat Mitzvah, therefore, is not the culmination of planning and study, but rather the beginning of an adult Jewish life. At Beth Jacob, we encourage you to think of Bar/Bat Mitzvah as an important milestone along the continuum of Jewish life, but by no means an endpoint.  We believe that all children should continue their formal Jewish studies in either the Talmud Torah of St. Paul Midrasha or the Minneapolis Talmud Torah Bet Hamidrash.

The celebration of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a milestone on the journey of being a lifelong learner.  Beth Jacob has embraced the understanding that we nurture our young people to become engaged learners who strive to continue filling their souls with Jewish knowledge as much leading up to this celebration as for the years beyond.  This is a central goal for the entire family as it is a family which together shares this journey of Jewish growth.

At Beth Jacob, as our students attain the age of religious responsibility, we ask all of our Bar/Bat Mitzvah students to show commitment to the core values of our shul, Torah, Avodah and Gemilut Hasadim, in the following ways:

Torah (Torah is a sacred text that renews)

  • Read Torah
  • Chant Haftarah
  • Prepare and deliver a D’var Torah

Avodah (worship)

  • Function as a shaliach/sh’lichat tzibur (leading the congregation in prayer)
  • Participate in prayer by davening

Gemilut Hasadim (acts of loving-kindness)

  • Participate in Mitzvot that encourage exploration and growth in ritual and ethical behaviors, both individually and as a family
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