A Modern Jewish Coming of Age Ceremony
Do 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
- Abundant Choices in Study and Ceremony
Are you 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 a synagogue? If so, 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.
Highlights of Bar Yisrael and Bat Yisrael:
- Focused on Tikkun Olam/ Community Service 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 12-16-year-olds
How does it work?
Each student is matched with a Rabbi or Jewish Educator on our team with whom they will have 7-9 meetings. Together, they explore three primary elements of the program: Tikkun Olam/ Community Service Project, Independent Learning Project, and Shabbat Project. Students will have very clear work to pursue at home.
This process culminates in a private ceremony at the venue of your choice.
Please enjoy exploring the detailed descriptions below. After we receive your registration, we will mail you a binder complete with all of your learning materials.
Bar and Bat Yisrael Details
Independent Learning Project:
As a Bar or Bat Yisrael student, you will work with the rabbi or educator to choose one area of Judaism you wish to learn about or experience. The choice of what to study is yours! 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
Tikkun Olam/Community Service Project:
You 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 NY)
- Building Homes (New Orleans LA)
- Organizing a Neighborhood Park Clean-Up (Denver CO)
- Helping Prepare Meals for Koko the Signing Gorilla (Woodside CA)
- Distribute Food to Homeless, (Toronto CDN)
Students celebrate Shabbat 8 times. They get to choose how. For example consider a Shabbat hike, reading a book to a younger sibling, calling Grandpa, lighting candles, or baking challah to name a few. The goal is to help the student and their family develop a Shabbat practice that is meaningful, realistic and sustainable.
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.
Schedule and Attendance:
Schedule your classes during times that suits you! The program is designed to be done in 3-months, but many people elect to stretch it out longer or compress it. The schedule itself has great flexibility. We had one student who attended boarding school and so scheduled all his lessons and work to be completed when he was home for school breaks.
There are no requirements for admission. Students must be 12 or older by the time of their ceremony.
You have the ultimate choice in where to host your ceremony! We have lots of suggestions, but the choice is yours. The Rabbi will arrive with a sound system, guitar and prayer books. The rest is your choice! On a hike? In a fancy hotel? In your backyard? On horseback at a ranch? In Israel at the Wall? On a beach in Hawaii? We’ve done it all.
Students are eligible to have their ceremonies once the class is completed. We officiate at three ceremonies a weekend, Friday and Saturday at 9:30 and 4 pm.
-$5,500 for training and a service in Boulder CO
– Nine private sessions
– A private ceremony officiated by one of our rabbis in Boulder CO (additional charge if outside of Boulder)