Special Needs is all Sarah’s Children
Special needs children for Sarah’s lessons been shown to many. That faith does not show up overnight. It builds up through many trials and triumphs. This is one of many reasons why Sarah was chosen and became the first Matriarch in Judaism. A major figure in the Torah. All children are counted.
Special Needs Children
A student with special needs can become Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah. 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 G-d. 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 G-d and their Jewish heritage.
During the initial conversation, 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 one.
A Fond Memory with a Student
One young girl, who at fifteen, was severely dyslexic, would never have become a Bat Mitzvah. After extensive discussions, she had her Bat Mitzvah ceremony! She could not learn to read Hebrew. A family member read a prayer in Hebrew and she danced. She did it so gracefully it was like watching the words of the prayer in motion. Her ceremony, her dancing showed her devotion to G-d and understanding and welcomed in the community. She expressed it in dance. It was a heartfelt Bat Mitzvah for her and for those that gathered together.
During Classes with another student
He shared with me, “I feel G-d’s spirit is with me.” This followed with questions as he wanted to confirm what he felt was true. He was not shy, concerned, or nervous. In fact, he was very confident in what he felt but needed to understand what he felt. I was honored to be that Rabbi and answer his questions.
Teaching and preparing students with learning needs; high functioning Autism; and students with limitations have had classes, and all Read from the Torah one way or the other. A ceremony that highlights the student’s strengths.
Alternative B Mitzvah Preparation – Included in the Program
- With the current Pandemic 2020, the program will be able to accommodate high functioning students.
- Classes will take place online for students that use a computer.
- Mitzvah ceremonies will be discussed in the initial conversation as well.
- 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 ceremony day took place.
- Learn Shabbat Prayer Book Hebrew and prayers
- Modified for each student with their strengths.
- Hebrew in phonetics based on their reading skills level.
- 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, Thursday, and certain holidays.
- 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