Becoming a Bar Mitzvah or a Bat Mitzvah is not about fulfilling requirements of study or reaching a single day. It is about becoming a well-rounded young Jewish man or woman who loves being Jewish and will carry on Jewish traditions long past the age of 13. At Woodlands, becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah does not mean that you have reached the end of a process, but that you are just beginning a rich Jewish life.
It takes a lot of work to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Woodlands. You not only learn Hebrew, study Torah, and learn the prayers, but you become well-versed in Judaism’s ideas about life. Tzedakah (doing the right thing), tikkun olam (fixing the world), and gemilut hasadim (acts of goodness and caring) are just a few of the ideas you will learn in religious school. Students are supported by our clergy, tutors, a full-time youth director, their peers, everyone we have.
The family is involved every step of the way. Students attend Shabbat services with their parents, help usher a few Shabbat morning services, and take some important preparation classes with their parents. This is not a singular path.
Our 7th-grade students participate in a Torah learning seminar with our rabbi. Parents attend, but they only listen—and they love doing so, as they witness their children engaging in meaningful and very Jewish dialogue with their rabbi. On the morning that they become Bar or Bat Mitzvah, just before the community's celebration of Shabbat, these children join with their parents in the rabbi's study for a special family blessing.
At Woodlands, becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is not about reaching a day. It’s about becoming part of Jewish tradition—and then about getting ready for Confirmation and deeper Jewish studies through high school.