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B'nei Mitzvah

Preparations for becoming a bar or bat mitzvah at Larchmont Temple are connected to the Covenant of Membership which is reflected in the Three Pillars of Larchmont Temple life: Torah- Learning, Avodah- Ritual and Sacred Spiritual Seeking, and G'milut Chasadim- Acts of Love and Kindness.

TORAH: In addition to being called to the Torah to chant or read a section of the weekly Torah portion in Hebrew, each child delivers a ‘drash’ or d’var Torah; words of learning about the weekly Torah portion focusing on a key aspect of the text and how it relates to us today. In preparation to take on the role of ‘teacher’, students meet with Rabbis Sirkman and Frankel to explore their ‘key koshi’ or question and develop the text for their drash. B’nei Mitzvah chant from the Haftarah- a selection from the Prophets, Writing as well.

AVODAH: Children have the opportunity to help lead the congregation in prayer as part of their b’nei mitzvah experience. On Friday night (Erev Shabbat), children light the Shabbat Candles with their mother or other female representative of their family and lead the congregation in Kiddush, the blessing over wine. On Shabbat morning, children lead the congregation in chanting the V'ahavta, a prayer which remembers the commandments we received from God and calls us to teach them to our children and incorporate them into our daily lives. This is especially relevant as you become a "child of these commandments” as a bar (son) or bat (daughter) mitzvah (commandment.)

G'MILUT CHASADIM: In honor of becoming a bar or bat mitzvah, children are encouraged to consider the many blessings they have in their lives and give back to the community through a "Mitzvah Project." This is an opportunity for children and their famlies to consider issues that they are interested in and/or passionate about and help support them - through their time and energy. Previous b'nei mitzvah have worked at the Special Olympics, at the New Rochelle Humane Society, Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle, or with the Larchmont - Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force. Each child’s project should uniquely reflect what he or she cares about and loves.

The B'nei Mitzvah Milestones Schedule which follows provides a general time line for when special family programs, personal tutoring and various meetings will take place.

WHAT? / WHEN?...

Blessing of Becoming / 4th grade
A celebration of receiving Bar/Bat Mitzvah dates

Blessing of the B’nai MItzvah / 5th grade
An introduction to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah process with Rabbi Sirkman

6th Grade Family Shabbaton / November 6th grade
An overview of the “Journey”

B’nei Mitzvah Basic Training / Fall & Spring Grade 7
Our family prep-course for bringing this milestone moment to life. Beginning with a Family Shabbat experience during a Saturday morning Bar/Bat Mitzvah, we then share in three Sunday sessions from 10:15 am – 11:30am, viewing your Bar/Bat Mitzvah through the prism of Covenant – Torah, Avodah, and G’milut Chasadim

Cantor’s Family Orientation / 7-8 Months Prior (approx.)
The particulars of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah classes and tutoring schedule are reviewed.

B’nei Mitzvah Mitzvah Project/ 6 months prior (approx.)
The Bar/Bat Mitzvah student undertakes a “mitzvah project” of interest to take action and give back and connect with the community in honor of this simcha (special occasion). Mitzvah projects can be brainstormed with any of our clergy anytime.


Torah/Haftarah Cantillation / 6th Grade
Students are introduced to the basics of cantillation of Torah and Haftarah.

Torah/Haftarah Tutorial (16 sessions Monday-Thursday) / 7 Months Prior
The Bar/Bat Mitzvah child is taught his/her individual Torah and Haftarah portion guided by our tutors..

First student run-through with Cantor Scher (Two weeks before B'nei Mitzvah)

The Bar/Bat Mitzvah child runs through all materials including their drash in the Sanctuary (parents not needed).

Final Family Run-Through (Week of B'nei Mitzvah)
One last run-through for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child as the Cantor reviews the family’s role at both the Friday evening and Saturday morning worship services (parents required).


Rabbi’s Family Torah Study/Search / 3—4 Months Prior
Approximately 3 months prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date, the family studies their child’s Torah portion with Rabbi Sirkman, setting the Drash and Blessing writing process in motion.

Drash Draft #1…#2 (Rabbi Frankel) / 2 Months Prior
Individual appointments to refine the child’s Drash.

Final/Drash (Rabbi Review)
Rabbi Frankel will review the drash one final time for any last minute changes.


Your Rabbis and Cantor are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your child's journey toward becoming a bar or bat mitzvah.

Rabbi Sirkman,
Rabbi Frankel,

Cantor Scher,
Rabbi Eve Rudin,

To change an appointment scheduled with Barry Konner, our B'nei Mitzvah Tutor, please contact him directly at or 914-393-7935.

Questions regarding your child's bar or bat mitzvah date can be addressed to the b'nei mitzvah committee and given to Linda Price in the main office.

Sun, July 5 2020 13 Tammuz 5780