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Bar / Bat Mitzvah

Click here and complete the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Form


Highlights of the Program

What is Bar Bat Mitzvah

Preparation and Education

Saturday Morning

The Honours

Bat Mitzvah Options

Tutoring Details and Costs

Facility Rental and Costs

Session Dates for 5799/80


At Schara Tzedeck our co-educational Bar/Bat Mitzvah educational program for boys and girls ages 11-13 is a family affair.  Celebrants and their parents or guardians learn jointly to help prepare for this important milestone.  Together with Rabbi Rosenblatt, they explore what it means to become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah and take on the responsibilities and mitzvah obligations of Jewish adulthood.

Highlights of the program:

  • Classes meet every other Monday at 5:15 P.M. from after Sukkot until the end of the academic year, and include a pizza supper. 
  • Fun activities and field trips
  • Topics covered include: Familiarization with the prayers; life-cycle events; understanding mitzvoth; peer pressure in a secular culture; the importance of ritual.
  • D’var Torah - Approximately two months before the Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration Rabbi Rosenblatt meets privately with each student to assist with writing a D’var Torah and help prepare the celebrant for his/her big day. 
  • Chessed project - Bar and Bat Mitzvah students learn to give back to their community by taking on a chessed project collectively and individually.  Beneficiary agencies of previous projects include: Louis Brier Home and Hospital, Jewish Family Services, NCSY Schara Tzedeck, Kollel, Jewish Community Centre, Jewish National Fund, Greater Vancouver Jewish Federation and other Jewish agencies. 

To book your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah, please submit Bar/Bat Mitzvah Form or call 604-736-7607.  If you need assistance determining your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah date, please call Rabbi Rosenblatt 778-836-7607, or check here: Chabad Calendar


Bar Mitzvah Guide

The experience of Bar and Bat Mitzvah is an opportunity to educate, instill values and integrate your child into the community.  We can help, but success is entirely dependent upon your commitment and participation.   

We take into consideration that

a) not all children are the same,

b) and each child finds his/her own motivation as preparation for the Bar Mitzvah serves an educational and/or spiritual goal.

What is Bar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah

A Bar or Bat Mitzvah refers to a person not an event.  A child becomes a Bar or a Bat Mitzvah, they do not have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.  The term means child of the Mitzvot, but the spirit of the term is one who is obligated and responsible for Mitzvot.  Thus the entire concept revolves around responsibility and commitment.

Setting the date

A young man becomes a Bar Mitzvah at 13 Hebrew calendar years and one day after he is born.  A young woman becomes a Bat Mitzvah at 12 Hebrew calendar years and one day after she is born.   Please consult the rabbi to calculate these dates.  With respect to booking shabbatot in the shul, reservations of any sort, you must contact the office not the rabbi. 

Preparation and Education

Classes and Group education

The Schara Tzedeck B'nai Mitzvah programs ensures that each child matriculating to B'nai Mitzvah will be exposed to subjects of Jewish thought and responsibility  essential to being a responsible Jewish adult. 

We focus on subjects that are outside the curricula of most schools.   Some of those subjects are.

  • Meaning of Bar Mitzvah
  • How and Why do we Celebrate Bar / Bat Mitzvah
  • God, Creation, Evolution, Fossils and Belief
  • Shoah and Personal Responsibility
  • Sefer Torah, Tefilin Mezuzah, Megilah and Scribal Writing
  • Jewish Heroism
  • Body Image, Personal Image, What you wear, what you see and what it says. 
  • Politics and Personal Responsibility
  • History and Identity.

In addition to classes we will hold Friday night group events, Educational Shabbat morning services and Havdalah events.  Furthermore, we will all participate in a group chessed / social action project. We ask for a donation of $250 per family to help defray the costs of food and materials. 

Attendance (all around)

What happens if we miss?  The answer is nothing happens,--we impose no consequence.  More importantly, no growth, education, or commitment can be accomplished.  

We cannot emphasize enough that the process will be infinitely more meaningful as a result of your personal commitment to attend with your child to:

  • Classes and group events
  • Shabbat services (Friday night or Shabbat Morning)

We also recognize that the year of Bar and Bat Mitzvah is a year of many conflicting obligations from other friends and classmates celebrating their own achievements.  That is why we set the class one year before these obligations so that attendance  at Schara Tzedeck is not in conflict with these events.

Personal Lessons

Schara Tzedeck  is committed to assisting all educational needs.   Thus our Rabbis will be assisting with personal lessons.

Ritual Education (There are differences between Bar and Bat Mitzvah in these categories which can be clarified upon meeting with one of the Rabbis). 

Reading Torah

Reading Haftorah 

Leading Services

Leading Havdalah

Reading Particular texts 

Dvar Torah education

Studying Torah in depth

Preparing presentation to guests and or congregation

Preparation of Choveret—publication on Torah subject.

Preparation for specific mitzvah

Tefilin /talit

Birkat Hamazon (blessing after meals) 

Hafrashat Challah –the mitzvah of separating Challah in the preparation of Bread.

Four Speacies (Lulav)

The other 607 mitzvot (tallit and Tefilin are at least 2) 

Tutoring and Costs:

Boys are encouraged to enhance their bar mitzvah experience by learning with Rabbi Tzvi Goldman or Reverend Joseph Marciano to read their Bar Mitzvah day Torah portion and Haftorah, as well as the skills to lead prayers.  (To contact either Rabbi Goldman or Rev. Maricano, please call the shul office at 604-736-7607.)

As part of your synagogue membership your child will receive 24 hours from Reverand Marciano and /or Rabbi Goldman. The families will be invoiced $60 an hour for any additional lessons. If your child dedicates adequate time to practice the 24 hours of tutoring should be sufficient time to prepare your child for their Bar Mitzvah. 


The Shabbat Event

Aliyot and Honors

On any given Shabbat there are 7 aliyot plus the maftir (one additional Aliyah that is connected to the Haftorah).    Halacha allows only one person per aliyah.  Which means there are a total of 8 aliyot.   Since we feel the mandate to accommodate the community week in week out, there may be many who deserve aliyot in addition to those closest to a Bar or Bat Mitzvah (grooms the week before a wedding-aufruf, new fathers, those observing Yartzeits, and other special concerns).  At the same time we would like to accommodate as many as possible from your friends and family.  Thus we reserve 3 aliyot in addition to the young man becoming Bar Mitzvah.  That number is determined for the geralized scenario of father, and two grandfathers, though it is your choice of who to honor and you need not adhere to that compliment of Aliyot.

In addition to aliyot there are other honors, opening the ark, closing the ark, hagbah (lifting the Torah), Gelilah (rolling and dressing the torah).  These may occur multiple times on any given Shabbat and may represent at least 8 honors, often more.  

The Honours that you may assign to your family and friends. 

Guaranteed Aliyot

1. ________



Possibly more 

Opening Ark 

4. ___________

5. ___________

6  ___________


7. __________________


8. _________________________

Closing ark

9. ____________________

Conclusion of Service


Total 10 ( minimum) there may be opportunities for additional honours. 


For centuries it has been the custom to make a charitable donation to the operation of the Shul or to the shul charity fund when receiving and honor.  This tradition carries on today at Schara Tzedeck.  A significant portion of the shul’s ability to assist those less fortunate comes from such donations.  After the Aliyah the Gabbaim discuss this matter with the person who received the honor.  Many celebrants have said that they will make a single blanket donation in honor of those who are given the Aliyah.

Parent’s Blessing of Thanks

After a child has his first Aliyah, it is traditional to make a blessing called “baruch She pitarani”  This can be found on page 444 of the Artscroll Siddur and  reflects the appreciation of the strength that Hashem has given the parents in raising their child to the point of self responsibility.  This is traditionally recited immediately after the first aliayh.


We throw candies to shower with sweets after the Haftorah (or after speech) these candies should be soft, and kosher, and must be approved by Joseph Marciano.  They should be distributed just before Haftorah or before speech begins.

D’var Torah

We welcome the Devar Torah (torah presentation of our Bnai Mitzvah) in the shul before the congregation.  This may happen in  the middle or the end of services.  One of the Rabbis will help with the preparation of this lecture.  Some suggestions are.

Practice with your child to be slow and to project well

Submit a final written draft to us so that we can provided a print copy for those that did not hear well or that missed a point or two. (we will distribute after the presentation)

Thank only parents and teachers before the congregation, out of town relatives should be thanked at other parts of the celebration.

Please avoid sibling humor such as, “Thank you to my little sister who did not bother me while I practiced.” 

Kiddush and Celebrations that follow. Please contact our for more information. 

Additional Bar Mitzvah events

First wearing of the Tefilin –When a young man wears Tefilin for the first time (about 1 month before bar Mitzvah) we celebrate at the morning minyan.  Many families sponsor the breakfast on that Sunday and enjoy this moment with the Schara Tzedeck Regulars. 

For the past 500 years a meal of celebration has followed the becoming of Bnai Mitzvah.   Today this continues and helps to create a wonderful sense of community.

Whether the ritual aspect of your event is on Shabbat or other day of the week we strongly encourage that the celebration that follows be kosher.  This is so for two reasons. Number one it is unfortunate to exclude those who observe these laws.  Furthermore, our children follow what we do as much as what we say.   We cannot in the ritual say Torah is important, if at the celebration we do not reinforce those same values.  A kosher event is a strong reinforcement of the value of Torah throughout the entire Bnai Mitzvah experience.  We are aware that cost can be a factor.  Schara Tzedeck  wants to ensure that your events can be kosher.  If the quotes you receive from kosher caterers are not competitive, please see Rabbi Rosenblatt.

Shabbat celebrations.

Our shul stands on the shoulders of the community that supports it.  We also teach our children to embrace this community.  Thus, a new proposal before the board is that private events must begin at least 25 minutes after the end of services.  This ensures that congregants and guests alike will proceed to the community Kiddush after services together.    It ensures that you will be able to greet your guests and then proceed to lunch in a relaxed fashion.  It ensures that the clergy will not be split between two different and concurrent events (Kiddush and private lunch).   With the addition of a second beautiful hall we will be well accommodated in either room. 

Facility Rentals and Costs

Silber Auditorium        $1200

Wosk Auditorium         $1800

Maintenance Fee         $200.00

Additional Security      $40/hour

Audio Visual               $150.00

The rental costs above includes floor length white linens, white linen napkins, and the use of the kitchen on the day of your event. Additional kitchen rental is $400/day.  

Quoted costs are for between 100 to 300 guests. 

Bat Mitzvah Options

Bat mitzvah actually offers us the ability to be more creative gives the opportunity for deep learning and exploration of a full range of mitzvot.   While many many options exist, here is a short list of options

Limud—a session in which a young woman teaches a class to a group of close families and friends

Havdalah—a ceremony closing Shabbat that offers both ritual moments and teaching opportunities

Choveret—a booklet demonstrating extensive study of an area of learning

Birchot hashachar—recitation and explanation of the eloquent blessings of mindfulness, appreciation and thanks that are recited every morning.

Friday night candle lighting, Kiddush, and Seudah—Together with a pre-Shabbat devar torah.

Hybrid—merging of Torah an experience in study and service. 

Mitzvah Odyssey—take a selection of mitzvot execute fully and journal the experience.  Keep a full Shabbat (25hrs),  3 days without lashon hara (gossip).   Count every day of Sefirat Haomer (49)  with a special personal growth calendar taken from basic elements of Jewish Tradition, build a sukkah, 

Since each of these categories is larger than the scope of this book, we advise further conversation with the rabbi.

Fri, 7 October 2022 12 Tishrei 5783