What is an Alternative B Mitzvah Outside a Temple Setting?
The alternative b mitzvah is an opportunity for parents to honor the custom. Their daughter or son can become a Bar Mitzvah or a Bat Mitzvah outside the temple setting. Alternative B Mitzvah is similar to the Hebrew School program. The only difference is it will be a shorter length of time for study and preparations. The program is for families who are no longer affiliated with a Temple or lives near one. Online classes have been around even before zoom became very well-known.
The Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah ceremony can be hosted at home, in the backyard, or a local establishment. Per Jewish teachings, the one fixed requirement on the day is a Minyan. A Minyan consists of ten adults over the age of 13 years. Students will learn about being welcomed, connected, and supported by a Jewish community. (Please Note: Zoom Mitzvahs, the online family and friends will be counted).
A student is taught and prepared for their special Mitzvah day with a ceremony that follows on the date that is set in advance on the calendar. The Alternative B Mitzvah program is about each student learning to read prayers, read/study the Torah with the understanding of history, customs, symbolism, and Jewish teachings. Along the way, a student begins relating to their Jewish identity.
Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs are traditions that can be observed in different ways that teach our children in understanding of his or her Jewish heritage and what it means with the given honor. It is a privilege with their birthright and for those that chose Judaism. This will demonstrate the child’s understanding of the Torah, and it will be their personal expression.
Each Shabbat the Torah has an assigned weekly Parsha (portion). It is read and a D’var Torah is given by the leader of the worship service. We call it a sermon or speech. The student is taught to give their speech during classes. The date that is set will correspond to that weekly reading Parsha (portion). Each of my students has discovered their Torah portion written in ancient times connects to their life today. On their special day, all will hear about it when they read their speech.
- Alternative B Mitzvah Preparation – Included in the Program
- A ceremony is planned to take place on Shabbat Morning (Saturday).
- Havdalah Shabbat evening Mitzvah is available upon request and the Rabbi’s calendar during the wedding season.
- The ceremony is as important as the lessons, please plan well in advance.
- Weekday lessons are Monday – Thursday after school concludes and up to 6 pm. In the summer, classes are discussed based on schedules.
- Classes are customized.
- Classes and preparations can be as little as 5 or up to 12 months. Depends on the student, their reading skills, and where they are at in their studies.
- Example: a student had started their Bar Bat Mitzvah preparations in the temple’s program. The Rabbi’s contract has not been renewed. The family is now wondering what to do without the Rabbi. This has happened many times and my student’s studies and their ceremony day took place.
- Learn Shabbat Prayer Book Hebrew and prayers
- Does your child have learning needs that keep them from learning the Hebrew language? Click here for the Special Needs page.
- Requests for Hebrew in phonetics can be accommodated for personal and family reasons. To be discussed in the initial conversation.
- Each student will study a Torah portion (also known as a weekly reading). It corresponds to the Shabbat (Saturday) date that is scheduled on the calendar.
- The Torah is read per custom Monday, Thursday, Shabbat, and certain on certain holidays, not all.
- Ceremony day; a 1 hour and 15 minutes Shabbat worship service for one student. Two students, time will be added.
- Aliyah Honors.
- Younger siblings do participate (age-appropriate).
- Wine, Challah, and Shehecheyanu.
- Start the conversation when a student is 11-1/2 years old to begin the process leading to their 13th birthday.
Read More about Rabbi Andrea Frank! Featured in the online magazine Judaica in the Spotlight
Rabbi Andrea Frank’s Virtual Classroom is not Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts. A company designed an online virtual classroom for all teachers. As the teacher, each student receives a secure login to enter the class on the website. Each class lesson is live, not recorded. They can sear, hear, interact with the Rabbi, the lessons, and have a wonderful experience all around.
This Virtual Classroom has offered the Rabbi to teach beyond her local city, county, and state boundaries.
The Rabbi teaches students in the Tri-State Area; Northern New Jersey, Fairfield area of Connecticut, including states such as Florida, and California. There have been students in Australia, Dominica Island, France, Germany, and Monaco. We call this our Destination Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah! (Note: during the 2020 pandemic of COVID-19, traveling is currently on pause until it is safe once again.)
Please Note: For Destination Ceremonies – Travel arrangements are not included with the Program costs. Depending on the destination, it can be travel, luggage, hotel, and a rental car. They are an additional cost for all mitzvah parents. This is the same arrangement for Destination Wedding Ceremonies.