North Suburban Synagogue Beth El

Beth El to Launch Adult Bnai Mitzvah Class in 5780

Posted on September 18, 2019

By Rabbi Alex Freedman

If you did not have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah and wish to do so, Beth El wants you to join other adults on this meaningful Jewish journey. 

Here are the details of this new initiative:

  • Classes will meet twice weekly from November through May.
  • In November/December, students will have a weekly Torah study class with me. The class will be entitled, “Forefathers and Four Mothers.” Together we’ll closely examine these pivotal Jews as characters, through the eyes of adults. Even if you learned about them as children, I assure you that your perspective has changed.
  • From January-May, students will participate in a weekly skills class with Hazzan Tisser and Hazzan Barnett. They will teach the classic skills of how to lead prayers and chant from the Torah/Haftorah. 
  • Throughout these months, students will join a Sunday morning learner’s service. This service combines practicing the basic prayers along with the clergy explaining their meaning and choreography. This service meets from approximately 9:20-10:10 AM and will combine with Gesher and their parents. 
  • The big day will be Saturday May 30th, which is also the 2nd day of Shavuot. This Jewish holiday – the anniversary of receiving the Torah on Mt. Sinai – is the perfect day to celebrate these adults who reaffirm their commitment to Torah as adults.
  • Interested students will decide upon a class day/time together. The reason we decided to offer this choice is because it maximizes the chances that interested students can participate.

If you have questions about the process, please contact Hazzan Tisser at btisser@nssbethel.org. If you are interested, please contact Ana Igornov at aigornov@nssbethel.org by October 25th.

The cost will be $180 per student, which covers the adult education fee and a Kiddush contribution.

While students will bring varying levels of Hebrew abilities, we require that students minimally be able to decode Hebrew (by January). This ensures that the skills class will be teaching the actual trope. For those students whose Hebrew is not quite there, please contact Hazzan Tisser for options as to how to take the next step in Hebrew.

I personally find it very moving when adults freely demonstrate their own religious commitments. It is our very own Jewish Tradition that celebrates that the Talmudic giant Rabbi Akiva was 40 years old when he learned the Aleph Bet!

These adult Bnai Mitzvah participants will be an inspiring model to their families, their community, and their clergy.