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Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah


Our Vision  

Bar/Bat Mitzvah 

At the PJC, a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is first and foremost a religious ceremony. By preparing for and having this rite of passage, Pelham Jewish Center children and families reaffirm their connection to Judaism. The luxury of a small synagogue is that it affords the rabbi ample time to study with the students and get to know their families. The Bar or Bat Mitzvah is an extremely significant rite of passage for our children, and we work hard to ensure that the overall experience is meaningful and encouraging. 

The Students 

Our goal is to create a Jewish community for the B'nei Mitzvah students. Students spend the year prior to their Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparing together and working on social action projects. We expect that these efforts will instill a strong sense of community. 

The Parents 

At the PJC, parents take an active role in helping their child prepare for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Parents help their child set aside time for study; become involved in the child's Tikkun Olam (social action) project;  support and participate in all the preparation and programming that is followed during the year leading up to the Bar or Bat Mitzvah; encourage their child to continue his or her Jewish education and to remain active in the synagogue following their Bar or Bat Mitzvah; and include their child in planning the celebration.

A Bar or Bat Mitzvah is held at the Pelham Jewish Center on dates approved by the rabbi, taking into consideration the child's Hebrew birthday, Jewish holidays and PJC programming. Dates are usually assigned at the end of fifth grade. A child must be 13 years and a day old by the Jewish calendar to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at the Pelham Jewish Center.

The Pelham Jewish Center has created a Bar and Bat Mitzvah Covenant that is included in the PJC's B'nei Mitzvah Handbook.  Both will guide the child and family through this time. Each family meets with the rabbi to discuss and affirm this covenant at least one year before the Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

B'nei Mitzvah Handbook Table of Contents 

  • Vision Statement and Covenant
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah
  • Family Timetable
  • Tutors
  • Bar/Bat Mitzvah Honors
  • The How To's of Honors
  • The How To's of Hagbah and Gelilah
  • Facility-Use Fees & Form

Contact our B'nei Mitzvah Coordinators -- Michelle Dvorkin and Judy Shampanier -- through our synagogue office via email at:  For the for B'nei Mitzvah Handbook and additional information, call the synagogue at (914) 738-6008. 

Thu, January 20 2022 18 Shevat 5782