B’nei Mitzvah

Leila and Harry Bagenstos's B'nei Mitzvah

Leila and Harry’s B’nei Mitzvah

Children whose families are members of the Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation become bar and bat mitzvah in beautiful ceremonies we celebrate as a community.  These are most often Shabbat services, and are most often conducted at the JCC.

Our Bar/Bat Mitzvah Policy is available upon request to non-members (contact the Board to ask for it).  (For members, it’s posted in the membership-only part of this website.)  Key provisions include:

AARC Membership is a requirement for having a ceremony within the AARC: ordinarily, for a minimum of one year prior to the event.

Ceremony and preparation for the ceremony include these three parts:

  • Torah (study)
  • Avodah (prayer)
  • G’milut Hasadim (acts of lovingkindness).

Each family, in consultation with their service leader (who must be approved by the Board chair) and the child’s tutor, can decide how to fulfill these requirements.

AARC BannerStatement of simplicity: Excessiveness in any guise, such as often happens with parties, violates our understanding of the spirit of Judaism and the values of our community and thus should be avoided.  The event should be held at a location consistent with the AARC’s values and practice.

Tutor:  The family is responsible for making arrangements for a tutor who can help the bar/bat mitzvah prepare.  The Congregation can help the family locate a tutor.  AARC member Deb Kraus has worked with many kids to prepare them for the Torah and Haftarah portions of the service.

Details: If you’re an AARC member in search of the memo with details about b’nei mitzvah timing, tasks, available resources, etc., click here.)