Melville Jewish Center

Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Save the date!

We are excited to share this journey with your family and want to make it special. All students receive their Bar/Bat Mitzvah date during the spring of Dalet (4th grade).   Rabbi Orrin will discuss any preferences with you regarding the type of service (Shabbat morning, Havdallah, Rosh Hodesh etc) as well as any preferred dates. Our tutors and staff will be meeting with you during the Hei (5th grade) and Vav (6th grade) years to review expectations and the support we will provide to you during this exciting, yet overwhelming time. All families will also receive a guidebook to will explain our program and includes a section with frequently asked questions. For more information on our Bar/Bat Mitzvah program please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Bar/Bat Mitzvah coordinator, Dawn Churchman

What is expected of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah student?

It is understood that every child has unique abilities. The tutor, Rabbi and Cantor will tailor each student’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah service accordingly. In general, the students will:

  1. Chant the blessings before and after the Torah and Haftarah readings;
  2. Chant from the Torah;
  3. Chant from the Haftarah;
  4. Lead various prayers;
  5. Prepare and deliver a D’var Torah, a personal interpretation teaching the congregation a lesson based on the Torah portion for that week.

Individual Preparation

Individual preparation begins about nine months before your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah. The student will spend a half‑hour each week in one‑on‑one tutoring session at the Melville JC. During this time, your child will learn to chant Torah and Haftarah, and perfect any prayers they will lead.

Students also meet with the Rabbi for study and reflection on their Torah portion. The Rabbi will assist the student with preparation of the D’var Torah and a final dress rehearsal will be scheduled for the week before  the service.

The Parents’ Role

An adult must be present at all lessons. We welcome all family members and close friends to participate in the service and chant a Torah portion, or lead a prayer.  English and Hebrew parts are available to all.


Come back soon to read more about our exceptional tutor, Cantor Moshe Bear. He is renowned for his teaching and making sure our students daven with  “Diamond chanting”