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Bar/Bat Mitzvah Guidelines

To become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah under the auspices of the Jewish Community of Kauai, the following guidelines should be adhered to.  We acknowledge that each individual will be unique in their ability to fulfill each item.  Each student’s teacher may discuss this with the board of directors of the JCK.

1. The student and family is a member in good standing of the Jewish Community of Kauai.
2. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony is held at a JCK service where all JCK members are invited.
3. A Kiddush following services is sponsored or provided by student or student’s family.
4. JCK board of directors has approved the teacher.
5. Weekly meetings with the teacher are attended by the student for the three months preceding the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

Curriculum should include:

  • Discussion of Torah portion.
  • Learning chant for Torah and/or Haftorah portion.
  • Study of prayers to be used at ceremony.
  • Study of customs/traditions/ethics of the Jewish people.
  • Discussions and planning of JCK assistance and community service projects.

6.  A Torah and/or Haftorah portion is read at the service.
7.  A speech is delivered illustrating understanding of the Torah portion read that day.
8.  A community service project is planned and completed (e.g. Food Bank, aide at Hebrew School).
9. The student attends and assists at a minimum of three JCK services/events in the year preceding the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

According to The Complete Book of Jewish Observance:

The core of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah is uniform in all congregations.  The Bar/Bat Mitzvah is called to the Torah, speaks the Berakhot, reads a portion from the scroll, and, if he is gifted, several portion or the whole section of the week.  He/she may also recite the Haftarah with its blessing and usually does.  His/her father and relatives are all called up. He/she may be permitted to lead parts of the service.  By widespread custom, he/she delivers a short speech after the Torah reading, and then receives a charge from his/her rabbi and the blessing.

The Jew must know about his/her people, its destiny, its ways of life, its creativity, and its forms of expression in ritual, life, and ethical conduct.

Jewish education is a lifelong pursuit.  One is never too young nor too old to begin.  It is the pursuit of Torah, which the rabbis called ‘a tree of life’.