Monday, August 03, 2020

Bar/Bat Mitzvah

The Bar/Bat Mitzvah year is a very special one at Temple Emeth. Students approaching the age of thirteen are preparing to mark their passage into Jewish adulthood, with all the privileges and responsibilities of that new status.

Temple Emeth offers orientation sessions for sixth graders and their parents – an opportunity to study together and gain a better understanding of what it means to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

During the seventh grade Bar/Bat Mitzvah year, Rabbi Turetz meets with each individual student and family. Students are tutored by Cantor Michael McCloskey. Cantor Michael also works with each student to choose and complete a mitzvah project during the year. Past mitzvah projects have included:

  • Volunteering, fundraising and advocacy for Autism Speaks
  • Soliciting donations and volunteering for Cradles to Crayons
  • Mentoring and coaching for Boston Special Olympics
  • Fundraising for mosquito nets for the Ubadaya, the Jewish tribe of Uganda

Each child has his or her own day to be called to the Torah, to chant the Haftarah, and to include family members and friends among the participants in the service. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah also prepares a D’var Torah (speech) in which he/she talks about the meaning of that week’s Haftarah portion and its contemporary impact upon his/her life.

Mitzvah Projects

Andrew's Bar Mitzvah project supported Autism Speaks, an organization which raises funds for autism research and promotes awareness.

Sophie volunteered at Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, playing with and mentoring prospective adoptees.

My Bar Mitzvah project was collecting board games for the Jewish Children and Family Services in Waltham. I collected tons of games, from Monopoly to Candy Land. The Jewish Children and Family Services loved how many games I brought for the children in need. The games were given as Chanukah gifts.

More Information

For more information, please contact Samara Katz, Director of Congregational Learning, at the School Office 617-469-9459, or email her at

TEMPLE EMETH, 194 Grove Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
P 617-469-9400 | F 617-469-9646 |