Sinai Free Synagogue takes great pride in making every Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebration special. Every child has their own service, and we do everything possible to work with each student based on their skills and talents to maximize their sense of accomplishment and pride in Jewish identity.
We focus the preparation to fit the needs of each individual student to ensure that on the day of the celebration every student is prepared, confident, and at ease. In the months leading up to becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, our students are given opportunities to chant prayers they are learning, such as the V’Ahavta, at Shabbat services so that they gain confidence as they proceed in their preparations.
The Rabbi and Cantor are devoted to personalizing every service for the B’nai Mitzvah and their families and guests. During the ceremony, the Bar or Bat Mitzvah leads the congregation in much of the service, chants Torah and/or Haftarah, and presents a personalized speech called a D’var Torah in which the student shares how the Torah portion is relevant to our lives today.
The parents, and sometimes grandparents, also have the opportunity to share personal blessings for their child and to present them with a family heirloom such as a tallit (prayer shawl). As a welcoming and diverse community, we also encourage non-Jewish family members to participate, as appropriate, from the bimah.
In addition, the Rabbi and Cantor make great efforts to actively engage those in attendance with explanations, communally read prayers and joyous singing. Many of our guests often comment after the service how touched and moved they were by the experience.