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.
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
- It is not one size fits all, it is a customized service based on the strengths and weaknesses of each student. What one student can do, another student may not. This includes the brighest, talented students, mainstream or home schooled, with great skills, and some with not.
- 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. A class lesson schedule is created.
- Classes are customized in regards to each student. All Students;
- Each student will learn and prepare for their Mitzvah day through prayer, history, symbolism, customs, and traditions. All classes are interactive.
- Classes and preparations can be as little as 5 months 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. Call to discuss.
- 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 – call to discuss.
- Each student will study a Torah portion (also known as a weekly reading). It corresponds to the Shabbat (Saturday) date for all weekly readings scheduled on the Jewish calendar. A D’var Torah (speech) is part of the Torah Portion too.
- The Torah is read per custom Monday, Thursday, Shabbat, and on certain holidays. (not all).
- Aliyah Honors.
- 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 continues to teach with the remote class format or also known as the online virtual classroom. Google Workspace that includes Google Meet, Docs, Sheets and Drive. Not zoom. Each class lesson is live, not recorded. They can see, hear, interact with the Rabbi, the lessons, and have a wonderful experience all around.
This remote class 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.
Pre-Pandemic – There have been students in Florida, California, Australia, Dominica Island, France, Germany, and Monaco. We call this our Destination Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah!
(Note: now that the pandemic COVID-19 vaccines are in place, traveling will only take place within the United States. The cost of the program does not include travel with the cost of the Program.
Please Note: For Destination Ceremonies – Travel expenses are additional and not included in the Program costs. Depending on the destination, it can be travel, i.e. Airline, luggage, hotel, and a rental car. This is an additional cost for all Mitzvah parents. This is the same arrangement for Destination Wedding Ceremonies.