Children (and their parents) often see Benai Mitzvah as a culmination, a moment of achievement after years of Judaic and Hebrew studies. It is that and at CBS, even more. Consider this quote:
“All of Your children are students of God; great is the peace of Your children.” (Isaiah 54:13.) “Read this not banayich — ‘Your children’ — but rather bonayich — ‘Your builders’.” (Berachot 64a.)
The rabbis played a little game with the vowels to create a pun that suggests children are not just children. Children are really builders of our future.
Becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a life-cycle event that is, to further this pun, about stepping forward in the context of Kehillah, to do the holy work of building our community. Students at age 13 are not yet adults, but they are ready to take on responsibilities and make contributions as educated and active members of the Jewish community at Beth Shalom and beyond. Benei Mitzvah celebrations mark the beginning of our Bar and Bat Mitzvah students becoming active participants as adults in the religious and social life of the congregation.
Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a time when we celebrate the coming contributions of our youth, whether a teen is counted in a minyan, called to the Torah, leads a Shabbat service, continues Jewish education in high school, is a leader in USY, a Madrikh in our Religious School, or takes on a responsible role in the larger Jewish community.
If you or your children are interested in being recognized as a bar or bat mitzvah, please contact the office by calling (412) 421-2288, or sending us a note from here: SEND US A NOTE
Celebrating Becoming Benei Mitzvah at Congregation Beth Shalom
Students becoming benei mitzvah are most often celebrated in our congregation during the Shabbat morning service. To qualify for a Shabbat morning bar/bat mitzvah ceremony, each student and family must satisfy certain requirements. They are listed in the Benei Mitzvah Handbook (linked below), beginning on page 2, and generally address the family’s membership status, the student’s age and prior Jewish education, and the work that the student will put into the effort.
Benei Mitzvah Information
Please see our current Benei Mitzvah Handbook for further information.