Beth Chai: The Greater Washington Jewish Humanist CongregationBeth Chai: The Greater Washington Jewish Humanist Congregation

Bar & Bat Mitzvah

The child comes into the light
Before family and community
Empowered to speak
An actor on this world-stage of ours
A young man or woman of substance

For Beth Chai by Rachel Feldman

At Beth Chai we prepare our students for Bar and Bat Mitzvah by engaging their intellect, fostering maturity in their thinking and feeling, and developing their self-discipline in pursuit of a worthwhile goal. Most importantly, we take care to treat each student as an individual. We believe the process and content of Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation should be meaningful to the student, strengthen the young person’s identity and self-esteem, and enhance his or her contribution to family and community. Our program, which incorporates rabbinic tutorials and congregational participation, is designed to deepen the student’s Jewish education.

For more information about the Beth Chai Bar/Bat Mitzvah program, please read on or contact our education director, Roni Rosenthal-Gazit at

The Beth Chai Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a rite of passage that:

  • Welcomes each young person as a unique individual to a responsible role in our Jewish community
  • Builds and celebrates Jewish identity in a manner that is meaningful to the young person
  • Engages the family in designing a celebration that embraces diverse strands of Jewish culture and fits the student’s strengths and needs
  • Develops skills that are transferable to school and other endeavors
  • Honors family, community, and cultural continuity


Beth Chai Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebrations have been described as:

“Intense and wonderful”
—a guest

“The experience I wish I’d had as a kid”
—a parent

—a nine year old
 “Something I will always remember”
—a Bar Mitzvah