At North West Surrey Synagogue, we delight in the accomplishments of our children and work hard to ensure that each child is ready to participate in a meaningful way in their “coming of age” ceremony. NWSS assist and encourage each child to achieve his or her potential and we take particular pride in being able to include pupils with special needs in our B’nei Mitzvah programme.
At the start of the programme, the families are invited to a Friday night chavurah supper after the service to get to know their cohort. The families are given a Guide to the programme that includes help in preparing for the Bat/Bar Mitzvah ceremony and celebration.
The children will also get a ‘Passport’, containing suggestions for mitzvoth and slips to pre-date and give to the Rabbi when attending services.
In addition to our ongoing Hebrew and Jewish Studies Cheder classes, there are enriching and engaging programs for our B’nei Mitzvah and their families. B’nei Mitzvah cohorts learn and grow together in study sessions on Saturday mornings and are encouraged to stay on and participate in the Shabbat morning service that follows. There are also Social Events for the children, with or separate from their families, such as Movie Nights and Shabbat Dinners.
At the Siddur Ceremony, usually in February each year, the students are presented with a new siddur by their parents and it is this that they will mark up as the learning progresses.
In the year leading up to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, students are paired with a teacher who will get to know the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child and assist them with learning the Shabbat Morning prayers and chosen Torah portion as well as assisting the child in developing a deeper understanding of their meaning.
All of our students gain confidence from the experience of being called to the Torah as a Bar/Bat Mitzvah; expanding their Jewish knowledge; increasing their familiarity with the Siddur and forging a stronger Jewish identity.