A 2 Week Wilderness
Journey in the Back Country of Colorado, which Fulfills
Bar and Bat Mitzvah Training
July 10-22, 2013
to apply click here>>
the regular schedule of bar and bat mitzvah classes and Shabbat
service requirements don't fit your busy schedule, if a gala
bar or bat mitzvah party seems out of step for your family,
consider this: A 2-week backpacking expedition through the
wilderness of Colorado followed by a group Bar and Bat Mitzvah
ceremony. (individual ceremonies also available)
We condense all the learning from our year-long Bar and Bat
Mitzvah program into a 2-week of intensive journey. Then families
and friends are invited to come and join us as we celebrate
together with this tight-knit community.
Learn about yourself, your community, the wilderness, and
the program works:
The Wilderness Bar and Bat Mitzvah Trek is led by Rabbi Evon
For the year leading up to the summer expedition, you will
complete your Hebrew requirements. We have found that one-on-one
Hebrew tutoring is the most effective path to learning your
Hebrew. Hebrew studies can be done over Skype. Just imagine
- no more carpooling! The student just sits down in front
of the computer! Rabbi Evon checks in monthly, which also
helps him begin to create a relationship with the student.
Hebrew Prayer Requirements
Step 2: Expedition
Rabbi Evon Yakar and additional AR Staff will lead
this awesome expedition into the wilderness, the place in
which Judaism began. As we explore hidden trails through Rocky
Mountain National Park and the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness, we
will also explore what it means to be Jewish in the year 2012.
How can Judaism help equip us for the challenges of the turbulent
teenage years ahead? How can becoming a bar or bat mitzvah
prepare us to make good choices about what to post on Facebook
and what to text? What can our ancient Jewish wisdom teach
us about how to deal with mean classmates and to engage peacefully
with our parents?
We learn how to pitch a tent,
cook over a camp stove, carry a backpack, and navigate with
map and compass. Our new found skills allow us to access pristine
wilderness and it is in this gorgeous setting that we study
ancient texts and learn what Judaism can teach us about low
impact camping and the treatment of the earth.
Shabbat, a day of rest, takes
on a new meaning after days of exertion. We will celebrate
two Shabbats in the backcountry, a welcome respite and chance
to quiet of minds and still our bodies. We carry a backpacking
Torah on our backs that we read on Shabbat. Suddenly the prayers
that we have studied all year become infused with meaning.
Join us as we present Judaism
in a new accessible and relevant manner. New friends, new
sights, new understandings about ourselves and the world we
inhabit await you.
Step 3: Group Bar and
Bat Mitzvah Ceremony
Families are invited to join the students in
Colorado for the group B'nai Mitzvah ceremony. Bar and Bat
Mitzvah is supposed to be about becoming part of the larger
Jewish community. How odd it is then, that Bar and Bat mitzvah
have become focused on the individual,rather than the community.
Our unique shared celebration highlights relationships within
the group and the power of individuals working together.
The students will write the service
during their expedition and take turns leading the morning
service, including reading from our special backpacking Torah.
Step 4: (optional) At home add-ons
Some families add second ceremonies once they return
home to include family and friends who couldn't join us. Rabbi
Evon is available to help with these additional ceremonies.
good? Here are the details:
The fee is $4,000 ($500 camperships are
not include transportation to Denver)
Includes monthly check-ins before the trip, the 2.5
week expedition and the shared celebration. Individual ceremonies
are extra. Monthly payment plans are available.
Rabbi Evon Yakar:
Evon lives in South Lake Tahoe, California. He specializes
in youth education and is an expert at making Judaism relevant
and meaningful to 12 and 13 year olds.
He is passionate about sharing Judaism with
his students and loves the opportunity to personalize the
program according to the interests of each of his students.
Rabbi Evon recently built a new road bike
and can often be found riding the beautiful roads and trails
near his home in South Lake Tahoe California. Rabbi Evon works
part-time for the Adventure Rabbi Program and part time as
the Rabbi at Temple Bat Yam. Rabbi Evon also loves skiing,
hiking, and playing ice hockey. In his free time you can find
him hiking with his wife Rachel and their dog Sasha.
What Hebrew prayers will the Bar or Bat Mitzvah student learn?
Our emphasis is on prayers we think every Jew should
know for general Jewish living. Among other prayers such as
Barchu, Shema and V'ahavtah, you will learn the full Friday
night Kiddush, Kaddish (seldom taught to Bar and Bat Mitzvah
kids but probably the most widely needed Jewish prayer). Students
should be prepared for a serious year of Hebrew study and
able to commit time to this aspect of the program. Most students
meet with their tutor once a week for 10 months. View
videos of the prayers here>>
Most of our students chant or read 3-6 verses of Torah. We
ask for equal effort, not equal product, so some read more
and others less. You will be reading from our Backpacking
are the Hebrew requirements to get into the program?
Many of our students have no Hebrew background while others
have been attending Jewish Day School for years. Either way,
because the Hebrew is done individually,we can make it work
and we will create a program that is appropriately challenging.
will the Bar or Bat Mitzvah student learn their Hebrew?
Each student works with a private Hebrew tutor. Fees for this
are not including in the basic program fee. Most students
meet with their tutor once a week for 10 months. Occasionally
students require 2 times a week, and others only occasional
meetings. In the Boulder area, fees are generally $30-$45
an hour. Outside of Boulder they are typically $50 -$85 an
do we find a tutor?
If you would prefer not to leave the comfort of your keyboard,
we can recommend a great tutor who will teach your student
via Skype. We also have access to a network of local tutors
in Boulder. Hillels, JCCs, and synagogues are a great sources
for tutors. We've had great success working with Janine
After reading through this information,
if you feel an Adventure Rabbi Bar or Bat Mitzvah will be
a good fit for your family, please either:
Program is right for you?
Individual Bar and Bat Mitzvah
Option for Distance Learning and Destination Ceremonies
(10 months, you pick the start date)
to register and sign click here>>
Adventure Bar and Bat Mitzvah
Class, Boulder Colorado
(10 months, August - May)
to register and sign click here >>
Bar and Bat Yisrael, a less
intensive coming of age program without Hebrew
Option for Distance Learning
Click here >>
to register and sign click here >>
Bar and Bat Mitzvah Summer Intensive
>Study your Hebrew privately
prior to trip
check-in Skype sessions with Rabbi Yakar
>2.5 week Backpacking in Colorado with Rabbi Evon
> Group Ceremony in Colorado
(Individual ceremonies also available)
this page, read above
Israel Bar or Bat Mitzvah Ceremony
Rabbi bar or bat mitzvah training with Rabbi Evon
Yakar during monthly Skype meetings or as part of the
>Individual Hebrew tutoring with your own tutor
>Unforgettable unique bar or bat mitzvah ceremony
in Israel with Rabbi Michael Schwartz. Locations
include the Robinson Arch at the Western Wall, the Ancient
Synagogue in Ein Gedi and atop Masada