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Introduction:

 At Chabad, our primary goal is to prepare our children to live Jewish lives with pride, knowledge, and enthusiasm. When your child reaches the age of Bar Mitzvah, we share the privilege and responsibility of welcoming him into the adult Jewish community with your family. Together, we hope to instill the meaning and significance of the occasion, to celebrate appropriately, and to honor your child's place among the Jewish people. At Chabad we have prepared the following guidelines to assist you in planning for this joyous occasion.

  Who can be Bar Mitzvah at Chabad?

 In order to hold your child's ceremony and/or celebration at Chabad, the following requirements must be met:

1. Your child must be Jewish according to the Talmudic and Halachic guidelines that have been in place for thousands of years.

2. Upon receiving a date for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, we encourage the family to participate in Chabad programs and events whenever possible.

3. We recommend that both the Bar Mitzvah boy and siblings be enrolled in the Hebrew School in order to include the whole family in the Bar Mitzvah experience.

 Age and Dates:

 Bar Mitzvah is the day on which a Jewish boy becomes responsible for Mitzvot and accountable for both positive and negative behaviors under Jewish law. According to the Talmud, this milestone takes place at the age 13. This happens automatically on their Jewish birth date, regardless of the way that the day is marked. The ceremony and celebration should take place as close to the Jewish birthday as possible. The Jewish calendar is lunar and represents the years from creation. The secular calendar is based on the solar cycle. As a child grows, the Jewish and secular birthdays may move weeks apart. To determine your child's Jewish birthday, a two hundred year calendar must be consulted with the Rabbi's guidance. 

 We recommend scheduling Bar Mitzvahs at least 14 months prior to your child's 13th birthday. While planning and preparation takes about one year, it is important to get the date on the Chabad calendar to avoid any conflicts. To choose a date, set up an initial meeting with the Rabbi to determine your child's Jewish birthday. Your child's Bar Mitzvah must be in the year following that date, as close as possible to the date but not before it. 

Bar Mitzvah Ceremony and Preparation:

 The Bar Mitzvah ceremony takes place on the day you set up with the Rabbi. Men and women are seated separately for the traditional service but are joined later for the reception. The service includes a brief explanation of the structure of the service, which will be given by the Rabbi, various prayers which are sung. There will also be speeches given by the Bar Mitzvah boy, the Rabbi, and an optional speech by the parents. Our services are known to be intimate, traditional, and lively. We do our best to cater to the guests who are present at the event, making the experience as welcoming, warm and inspirational as can be.

 Our goal is to begin preparing the boy for his Bar Mitzvah preparation approximately one year prior to his Bar Mitzvah date. In addition to Chabad Hebrew School, there are private classes, which are set up directly with the Rabbi. Classes are held once a week for approximately 45 minutes at a mutually convenient time. Each class is subject to a tutoring fee of $40. Tefillin will need to be purchased through the Rabbi before the Bar Mitzvah. The Tefillin will be ordered from New York by an expert scribe who offers us wholesale prices.

 Classes with the Rabbi:

1. Discussions about the meaning and significance of becoming a Bar Mitzvah.

2. Learning how to put on Tefillin, the accompanying blessings, its meaning, makeup, and relevance.

3. Studying part of the weekly Torah portion which will be read, as well as lessons that can be drawn from the reading.

4. Assistance in the writing of the Bar Mitzvah "Dvar Torah," which is the Bar Mitzvah speech.

Celebrating the Bar Mitzvah:

There are several ways to honor this special occasion with the child. Families may choose to celebrate over the weekend with a Kiddush on Saturday or a party Sunday night or a Sunday brunch. The party must be one at which the food that is brought in meets our Kashrut standards. Chabad approves certain caterers, meats, and bakeries. Please speak to Rabbi Dubov or Rabbi Amram for ideas and suggestions in this regard.

  For additional information or to schedule a Bar Mitzvah, please call Rabbi Amram at (908) 875-8517