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lifecycle events

Preparing for Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah

Preparing for a bar or bat mitzvah at CRC is a process, and each young person is supported at every step by CRC's rabbis, staff, educators, and Board.

Below is a basic outline of the process for becoming a bar or bat mitzvah, beginning in 5th grade. While this is the most common process and timeline, it can occasionally vary based on the individual needs of the student. If you anticipate needing special accomodations for your student, please contact us as soon as possible.

Of course, most students begin their religious education much earlier than 5th grade. Religious school programs at CRC, intended to introduce the student to the Jewish community, to CRC, and to our holidays and rituals, is available for all ages of youth. Some prior Hebrew instruction, either at CRC Hebrew School (beginning in 3rd grade) or through a day school, private tutor, or other program, is strongly recommended prior to beginning the b'nai mitzvah preparation process in 5th grade.

If you would like information about enrolling your student in religious school programs or scheduling a bar or bat mitzvah, please contact Jen Fishering at jen@centralreform.org or 314-361-1564, ext. 101.

Becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at CRC:

4th grade, around Thanksgiving: B'nai Mitzvah date sign-up forms mailed.

4th Grade, January or February: B'nai Mitzvah workshop - receive Binder and Portion Booklet.

9 months - 1 year prior to date: First meeting with Rabbi (student and parent/s attend); rehearsal dates mailed out. 

9-10 months prior to date: Contact Tristan Jones to start working with a b'nai mitzvah tutor.

6-9 months prior to date: Select Mitzvah project. CRC's rabbis and staff may be consulted if you need help with project ideas.

5th-6th grade: Student continues to attend Hebrew School and attend some Shabbat services.

6th grade: Begin working with Rabbis Susan and Randy on Mitzvah Project and d'var Torah (teaching on student's Torah portion). Family should attend Shabbat morning services together.

6th Grade Workshop, February or March: Each student prepares his or her own prayer/service book (siddur). Begin organizing and writing your siddur. If you are planning to have a b'nai mitzvah party at CRC, it's time to start planning this too--contact Nancy Weigley at nancy@centralreform.org or 314-361-1564 ext. 105.!

3 months before: If you are having CRC print your child's siddur, inform Jennifer Fishering at jen@centralreform.org.

1 month before: E-mail siddur to Tristan Jones if publishing at CRC.

3 weeks before: Rehearsal with Rabbi Randy.

1 week before: Final rehearsal with Rabbi Susan.

After bar or bat mitzvah: Attend teen programs (7th-12th grades) and chant blessings at High Holy Day services!