Requests for Destination, Alternative B Bar Bat Mitzvah
Ceremonies are taking place and welcomed
What is an Alternative B Mitzvah Outside a Temple Setting?
Simply, it is an opportunity for parents to fulfill the obligation of the commandment for their son or daughter to have a Bar Mitzvah or a Bat Mitzvah outside the a temple setting.
A tallit, a kippah, a Torah Scroll and a Rabbi, but do remember, a child does need to be taught and prepared for that day, and then their ceremony can take place. Alternative B Mitzvah follows the Jewish history back to the time when God gave the Torah and its Commandments in the wilderness.
The private Bar Bat Mitzvah program is not designed to fulfill the needs for a quickie Bar Bat Mitzvah ceremony. It is to assist those parents seeking an alternative way for various reasons.
In order for an Alternative B Mitzvah to take place anywhere, a Minyan of ten adults – after the age of becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is all that is needed. Most ceremonies fulfill that requirement when preparing the guest list. Many blessings!
For families who are no longer affiliated with a Temple or don’t live near one, this alternative or option can fulfill the needs of the search.
Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs are traditions that can be observed in different ways that still teach our children in understanding of his or her Jewish heritage and what it means. It is a privilege, their birthright and for those that choose Judaism, their right as well.
Shabbat – Ceremony Day
Each Shabbat a specific parsha (portion) in the Torah is read and a D’var Torah is given by the leader of the worship service, also known as a sermon. Each student is taught give their speech after learning and connecting to their Torah Portion. Each child’s 13th birthday day and month corresponds with each parsha. This is the base that a Rabbi would use to design an alternative Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah ceremony. Each child is unique with their own gift. When a Rabbi meets with the child or children and their parents, only then can an alternative B Mitzvah ceremony can be created making it their own personal moment. This would not only demonstrate the child’s understanding of Torah, but it would be their very own personal expression.
Alternative B Mitzvah Preparation – Included in the Program
Can your child learn to read Hebrew? Yes! Is it required to learn to read Hebrew to become a Bar Bat Mitzvah? Yes!
Why? Alternative B Mitzvah is similar to the Hebrew School program with the only difference of the length of time for study and preparations. Alternative simply means to take place outside the temple walls for the first traveling sanctuary took place in the wilderness.
- Learn prayer book Hebrew prayers that are part of our Shabbat Prayer Services. Why we read them and what they truly mean.
- Study Torah and each student’s portion corresponding to their birthday and ceremony date chosen
- Read Torah, the portion on that Shabbat that was studied
- Ceremony day; a 1 hour and 15 minutes moving Shabbat worship service lead by student and Rabbi A. Frank. With your choice of Shabbat Morning and Shabbat Havdalah (late afternoon-evening) as per sundown time-table and or after 5:30 pm when sundown is late in spring and summer months.
With the proper step by step instructions and lessons with Rabbi A. Frank, your child will and can become a Bar Mitzvah or a Bat Mitzvah. Patience, support by family members, practicing 5-15 minutes a day – it will and can work very smoothly! Yes, 5-15 minutes a day works!
IMPORTANT NOTE: No Hebrew Phonetics requests will be honored for students who are Mainstream students.
Rabbi Andrea Frank’s Virtual Classroom been set up for many years now. All is working out nicely and the connection with students in the Tri-State Area, out of state and including, outside the borders of the United States. That would now include France; Germany; Monaco and even an island in the Caribbean. This Virtual Classroom has offered the Rabbi to teach beyond her local boundaries. The students and their families without the connection to a Rabbi for Bar Bat Mitzvah preparations and ceremony is now REACHABLE!
Alternative B Mitzvah lessons using the virtual classroom for communication consists of a web cam, headset/microphone and of course a strong internet connection. Computer to computer lessons with Rabbi and the student. With the technology of today, your child can learn and be prepared for their ceremony day. The Rabbi Educator and the student can see the lessons on the same screen in real time.
Please Note: For Destination Ceremonies – Travel arrangements are not included with the Program costs. Travel arrangements, hotel and land transportation is an additional cost for all parents. This is the same arrangement for Destination Wedding Ceremonies.
A Guide for Parents When Your Child Asks for a Bar Bat Mitzvah
When children express they want this before they reach age 13, God is sending a message through the child. The time has come for parents to act, but due to certain experiences in their lives, resistance to Judaism will be the barrier and it is the child that suffers the consequences. Rabbi Andrea has dealt with just this from many parents. The student missed out on an amazing experience!
What You Can Do Now
Throw down the barriers and let the children experience this moment in their lives. For those children in Jewish and or interfaith families expressing their identity with Judaism before the age of 13, hear them. You as the parents decided early to leave it up to them to decide and choose their identity in reference to a religion. Now they have, now it is time to follow through. Alternative B Mitzvah is just that – an alternative approach to welcome and embrace your child’s choice.
The Newest Trend: Thursday Mornings
Having a Bar or Bat Mitzvah on a Thursday morning in a warm and inviting place. The celebration typical follows on another day, and the ceremony takes place on one of the three days when Torah is read. Monday, Thursday, Shabbat and the exception to the custom are certain holidays.
Additional Information on the Alternative B Bar Bat Mitzvah Program
- A 4-year or weekly commitment is not necessary when one-on-one tutoring takes place. About 8-10 months the program can assist each student to reach their Ceremony Day. At times, depending on the student’s leaning ability, it could be 12 months.
- Each student’s time frame of preparation is based upon Hebrew reading level.
- Each student’s level is different
- Hebrew Alphabet, Vowels and fundamentals are necessary for preparations – no worries, Rabbi Andrea’s program will assist with Hebrew fundamentals for each student to reach that level to begin Bar / Bat Mitzvah preparations.
when student is 11-1/2 years old to begin process by 1 year of their 13th birthday.
- However, a commitment, a desire to learn is necessary and a requirement. Without it, the goals for the alternative b mitzvah ceremony cannot be reached
- Ceremony included – for the Tri State area (i.e. New York City (Manhattan), New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island, Westchester County, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens) and out of state ceremonies can be arranged based on availability in the Rabbi’s calendar
- Ceremony is as important as lessons to to the Rabbi. Plan well in advance for Rabbi to conduct a ceremony as well.
- Weekday lessons available only at this time
- Weekends are for life cycle ceremonies; Including Thursday Mornings for Bar Bat Mitzvah Ceremony days when the Torah can be read.
Special Needs Children
There is also no reason for ‘special needs’ children not to become Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah, either. There are many children who have difficulty learning even the simplest of the blessings. This doesn’t mean they don’t understand or can’t feel in their hearts what it means to connect to God. Many children who can’t learn the Hebrew language and often struggle with English have special talents. These talents can be their way of expressing their love and devotion to God and to their Jewish heritage. Those talents can be expressed in a way that would leave a memorable moment for the child, the parents and guests. Parents simply need to share their child’s limitations. The Rabbi will get to know your child and establish a wonderful connection between teacher and student. That connection will assist in designing the Bar Bat Mitzvah Alternative B Mitzvah ceremony into a warm and moving ceremony.
One young girl, who at fifteen, thought she was too old and was severely dyslexic, would never become Bat Mitzvah. But after some discussion with the Rabbi, it was decided that she could indeed have her Bat Mitzvah ceremony. Though she could not learn Hebrew very well, she could dance so gracefully it was like watching prayer in motion. So this was to be her focus for the ceremony – to show her devotion to God and understanding of what was now expected of her in the community, she would express it in dance. It was a marvelous Bat Mitzvah for her and for all who attended.
Rabbi Andrea has taught and prepared students with learning needs; high functioning Autism; and students with limitations that can learn, all Read from the Torah one way or the other. The ceremony was the same format for all 13 year old students becoming a Bar Bat Mitzvah. The only difference, if you want to call it a difference, it was designed to fit the student.
Rabbi Andrea’s Program is local Westchester County students. Special needs or students with limitations, most, cannot learn using the Virtual Classroom. In person classes for Special Needs students are available. For students with with no learning limitations will partake in the program using the Virtual Classroom.