Adventure Rabbi: Synagogue without Walls
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Bar / Bat Yisrael: an Alternative to a Bar / Bat Mitzvah
         
Individual Program: 12 Weeks
Distance Learning Optional
Registration>>

Jewish Coming of Age CeremonyIf you want your son or daughter to have a:

  • Jewish Coming of Age Ceremony
  • Connection to Jewish Heritage
  • Opportunity to Celebrate with Friends and Family
  • Generational Continuity

but you are not ready or able to commit to a time intensive Bar or Bat Mitzvah program that requires weeks of Hebrew tutoring, months (or even years) of religious school and countless weekends spent in synagogue, then our Bar or Bat Yisrael ceremony may be the right alternative for your family.

This is an ideal program for families who like the concept of bar or bat mitzvah, but just don't see how learning Hebrew will help their son or daughter be better equipped to deal with the world.

Bar Yisrael and Bat Yisrael:

  • Focused around Tikkun Olam/ Social Action project
  • Opens the door for future involvement with Judaism
  • Helps develop Jewish identity
  • Includes Independent Investigation of One Jewish topic
  • Your time frame, your schedule
  • Appropriate for 12-15 year olds

How does it work?
There are three elements (details below) to the program plus between seven to nine meetings with the Bar or Bat Yisrael coach. These culminate in a private ceremony at the venue of your choice (details below.) After we receive your registration, we will mail you a binder complete with all of your learning materials.

Three Elements:

Part I: Independent Learning Project

As a Bar or Bat Yisrael student, you will work with Rabbi Evon Yakar or Rabbi Jordie Gerson or Director of Education Elaine Barenblat, to choose one area of Judaism you wish to learn about or experience. You will devote at least 10 hours to your studies. During your meetings, you will discuss what you are learning and have an opportunity to ask lots of questions. At your Bar or Bat Yisrael Ceremony, you will share a presentation with the community about what you have learned.

Examples of Past Projects:

  • Jewish Roots of Reggae
  • Challah: Baking Challahs from Around the World & Sharing them at a Retirement Community
  • Why are so Many Comedians Jewish?
  • Learning the Hebrew Alphabet
  • Learning about the Student's Jewish Family Through Interviews with Family Members
  • Tour of Jewish Boulder: Visiting Jewish Organizations in Boulder and Learning about Them
  • The Maccabiah Games: A Quiz Show with Fun Facts and History

Part II: Tikkun Olam/ Social Action Project
Tikkun Olam - Social Action Bar Mitzvah ProjectYou will devote ten hours to working on a Tikkun Olam / Social Action project of your own design. During your meetings you will learn how this particular project illustrates a Jewish value and discuss your experiences with the project. You will track your progress and learning in a journal so that you will be able to share what you have learned in a speech at your Bar or Bat Yisrael Ceremony.

Examples of Past Projects:

  • Trail work (Durango, CO)
  • Graffiti Removal (New York City)
  • Building Homes (New Orleans)
  • Organizing a Neighborhood Park Clean-Up (Denver, CO)
  • Helping Prepare Meals for Koko the Signing Gorilla (California)

Part III: Shabbat
You will memorize some short, basic prayers, which you will use for your service and for Sabbath dinner at home. These are easy, enjoyable and useful prayers that will enable you to be part of the Jewish community wherever your life takes you. You will not need to be able to read them in Hebrew.

You will creatively celebrate Shabbat every other week and write about your experience. These writings will become a speech at your ceremony,

Putting it all Together:
If you are working with Rabbi Jordie or Elaine Barenblat: You will meet with her seven times for your learning plus two more meetings to plan and rehearse your service. For details of what is covered in the meetings, click here>>

If you are working with Rabbi Evon, you will meet with him five times plus two more meetings to plan and rehearse your service.. The first meeting will be to explain the program and identify your projects. The middle three meetings will be opportunities to discuss what you are learning, ask questions and delve more deeply into areas of interest. Next, we will put it all together and practice delivering the speeches you have prepared to share what you have learned with your community. A month before your ceremony, you will have two more sessions with Rabbi Evon Yakar to plan the ceremony (via Skype or in-person in South Lake Tahoe, California.)

Ceremony
When you have completed your projects, we will gather together with family and friends. Generally, the favorite days for ceremonies are Friday night Shabbat Service or Saturday night Havdallah Services but because there is no Torah reading involved, the ceremony can actually be held on any day of the week.

Our services, led by Rabbi Evon Yakar, Rabbi Jordie Gerson or Rabbi Jamie Korngold, are beautiful, heart-felt experiences, filled with song, prayer and relevant discussions. Together as a community we will celebrate your connection to Judaism and entrance into the teenage years. There will be ample opportunities for friends, parents and family to add their blessings to the service so that it becomes a unique expression of you!


Twelve Week Program includes:

1. Meetings: in-person, online or by phone

  • 5 meetings with Rabbi Evon Yakar
    or 7 meetings with Rabbi Jordie Gerson or Elaine Barenblat
  • 2 Ceremony Planning Sessions with Rabbi Evon Yakar, Rabbi Jordie Gerson or Rabbi Jamie Korngold

2. Homework:

  • 1-hour a week for 10 weeks Tikkun Olam / Social Action Project
  • 1-hour a week for 10 week Independent Learning Project
  • 6 Shabbat Celebrations
  • 5 minutes a Day to Practice Hebrew Prayers
  • 4 Hours to Prepare Speeches and Presentation

3. Personalized Service with Rabbi Jordie Gerson, or Rabbi Evon Yakar or Rabbi Jamie Korngold

Commonly Asked Questions:

Bat Mitzvah Student during her ceremonyDo we get to personalize the ceremony?
Yes! We can include as many of your guests as you would like. You can even write your own prayerbook, although most families opt to use our Adventure Rabbi nature-based prayerbooks.

Do your bring the prayerbook to the ceremony?
If the rabbi is traveling to your ceremony, he or she will ask you download a copy of the prayerbook and print it out for your guests with a personalized cover. If the rabbi is not traveling, he or she will bring the prayer books to the ceremony.

Click here to find the Prayerbook>>
Note: It must be printed double-sided with flip on short edge.

Where are the ceremonies?
You can pick your own venue, although we appreciate low key venues that take the emphasis away from conscious consumption rather than fancy hotels.

Small ceremonies often take place as part of a morning hike, while larger ceremonies are generally held in locations where everyone can sit in chairs in order to minimize the impact of large groups on the wilderness.

Here are some of our favorite venues Suggested Locations>>

Does it have to be outside?
As the Adventure Rabbi Program, we love hiking or skiing ceremonies but we realize not every family can do that. We've done ceremonies in rented Hotel meeting rooms, backyards, living rooms and more.

What about having the ceremony outside of Colorado or up in the Mountains?
We will officiate anywhere in the world! You pick the venue and will we show up ready to go

View Outdoor Bar Mitzvah One Minute Video >>

Or, view photos from a recent Skiing Bat Mitzvah at Copper Mountain >>

Bar Mitzvah New YorkWe have family members who can't hike, but we know a ceremony that includes hiking with the Adventure Rabbi is an amazing and unique experience. Is there any way we can incorporate a little hiking?
We suggest adding a hiking Friday night service led by the rabbi That way even if your main service can't be on the trail because not everyone is physically capable of hiking, at least a subset of the group can enjoy that amazing experience. We have found that the amazing feeling created in the smaller group rapidly spreads to the entire group.

Can we also add a short hiking piece to our ceremony?
There are some venues that enable you to have a hike first and then the service. For example, of you hold the service on the summit of Flagstaff Mountain (Boulder, CO) we can add a little hiking at beginning of the service that is very accessible.

If this is an individual program, how will we meet other people?
We encourage your family to participate in Adventure Rabbi events throughout the year so that you can build a relationship with our rabbis and our larger community. You will meet an amazing group of people, eager to find a meaningful way to experience their Judaism.

In order to facilitate this we will give your Bar or Bat Yisrael student a free membership to our congregation during the time they are studying. (Note: this is a student membership, not a full family membership.)

We also recommend reading Rabbi Korngold's books to get a sense of the background of the Adventure Rabbi Program.

How are parents part of this process?
Parents are needed at the first session and the last two sessions. In-between, feel free to check in with the coach so you know what is in process.

Can you share more of the content of the meeting?

Yes. If you study with Elaine Barneblat or Rabbi Jordie Gerson, this will be the meeting outline.

What will your Bar/Bat Yisrael training time look like?

 

You will meet 9 times over the course of your Bar/Bat Yisrael preparation. Here is what will happen during each of those meetings:

 

Meeting #1                                                                           

    1. You and at least one parent will meet with your Bar/Bat Yisrael Coach to go through everything in your binder, make sure you’re set up with the three Google Docs you’ll need to complete homework assignments, and to answer any questions you have about the program.
    2. Completing a Shabbat practice six times throughout your training is a crucial part of this process, so during this first meeting, we will brainstorm a few Shabbat project ideas and pick the one that you will complete before your second meeting.

Meeting #2                                                                          

    1. You will come to this meeting with a clear idea of what you’d like to do for both your Tikkun Olam project and your Independent Learning Project.
    2. We will learn the Motzi and the blessing over wine/juice.
    3. We will discuss the Shabbat practice you did and talk about the log you submitted.
    4. If we have time, we will explore Jewish teachings and values related to your Tikkun Olam project.

Meeting #3                                                                           

    1. We will discuss the Shabbat practice you did, and how your Tikkun Olam and Independent Learning projects are going, and talk about any logs you submitted.
    2. We will talk about the Jewish value of Zachor Shabbat (Remembering Shabbat).
    3. We may explore Jewish teachings and values related to your Tikkun Olam project.  

Meeting #4                                                                          

    1. We will discuss the Shabbat practice you did, and how your Tikkun Olam and Independent Learning Projects are going, and talk about any logs you submitted.
    2. We will learn the Shehecheyanu, the Tallit blessing, and the blessing over the Shabbat candles.
    3. If there is time, you can select another Jewish value to discuss from our database.

Meeting #5                                                                           

    1. We will discuss the Shabbat practice you did, and how your Tikkun Olam and Independent Learning Projects are going, and talk about any logs you submitted.
    2. We will learn the Barchu, and the Shema.
    3. We will discuss instructions for putting your Independent Learning Project into a presentation format, which you will present next meeting and again at your ceremony.
    4. If there is time, you can select another Jewish value to discuss from our database. 

Meeting #6                                                                           

    1. We will discuss the Shabbat practice you did, how your Tikkun Olam project is going, and talk about any logs you submitted.
    2. You will present your completed Independent Learning Project presentation to your Bar/Bat Yisrael Coach.
    3. We will begin to write the speeches you will give at your Bar/Bat Yisrael ceremony on your Tikkun Olam project and your Shabbat project.

Meeting #7     

    1. We will discuss the Shabbat practice you did, how your Tikkun Olam project is going, and talk about any logs you submitted.
    2. We will finish writing your speeches.
    3. This is your last meeting with your Bar/Bat Yisrael Coach (if your Coach is not the officiating rabbi), so be sure to bring any last minute questions or items to this meeting.


Meeting #8                                                                           

    1. You will meet with the rabbi officiating your ceremony to plan the service.

Meeting #9     

    1. You will meet with the rabbi officiating your ceremony to run through your service including all of your Shabbat and Tikkun Olam speeches, your Independent Learning Project and your prayers.

 

Learning Resources:

 

Ceremony Information:

 

 

 

Which Program is right for you?

    OPTION 1:
    Individual Bar and Bat Mitzvah Program
    Option for Distance Learning and Destination Ceremonies
    (10 months, you pick the start date)
    More info click here>>
    Ready to register and sign click here>>

    OPTION 2:
    Adventure Bar and Bat Mitzvah Class, Boulder Colorado
    (10 months, August - May)
    Click here>>
    Ready to register and sign click here >>

    OPTION 3:
    Bar and Bat Yisrael, a less intensive coming of age program without Hebrew
    Option for Distance Learning
    (12 weeks)
    On this page, read above

    Ready to register and sign click here >>

    OPTION 4:
    Israel Bar or Bat Mitzvah Ceremony
    >Adventure Rabbi bar or bat mitzvah training with Rabbi Evon Yakar during monthly Skype meetings or as part of the Adventure Class
    >Individual Hebrew tutoring with your own tutor
    >Unforgettable unique bar or bat mitzvah ceremony in Israel.
    Locations include the Robinson Arch at the Western Wall, the Ancient Synagogue in Ein Gedi and atop Masada

    More info click here>>

 

If you have spoken to the rabbi and are ready to sign a contract, please click here>>


 
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OPTION 2: Adventure
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OPTION 4: Summer Bar & Bat Mitzvah Expedition
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