31 Glengary Road, Croton on Hudson, NY
914.271.4705 [email protected]

Expectations and Requirements

The following have been set by the Center for Jewish Learning and Cantor Ellerin:

  • The Bar/Bat Mitzvah student is required to be a student in the Temple Israel CJL for a minimum of the three years preceding Bar/Bat Mitzvah or the equivalent. Regular attendance at Religious School is essential.
  • Cantor Ellerin leads our Bar/Bat Mitzvah Training program which students will begin 6 or 7 months before bar/bat mitzvah.  
  1. Required service attendance – students will have a “Service Attendance Card” and are responsible for filling it out and bringing it with them to all private lessons.  Within the 9 months prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date, students are required to attend a total of 14 worship services:
    1. 6 Shabbat morning services (at least 4 must be at Temple Israel)
    2. 4 Shabbat evening service (at least 2 must be at Temple Israel)
    3. 4 Floating services at Temple Israel (Shabbat, festival, or High Holiday services)
  2. Thursday night B’nai Mitzvah class – approximately 6 months before the ceremony date, students begin attending our Thursday evening class taught by Steve Butterfass and Lane Chazdon. Students will attend this class for 2 months. One absence does not need to be made up; any additional missed classes must be made up. These classes give students the foundation they need to be successful in their lessons with the Cantor.
  3. Private lessons with Cantor Ellerin – approximately 3-4 months before the ceremony date, students start studying privately with the cantor for 20 minutes on a weekly basis, (12-14 lessons total).
  4. Meetings with Rabbi Jaech – approximately 6-8 weeks before the ceremony date, students start working with Rabbi Jaech on their divrei Torah (speeches). 

During the two months that students attend the Thursday night class, they will be studying Hebrew, working on their prayers, and learning the Torah cantillation system.  When they begin private lessons with Cantor Ellerin, they will continue to work on their prayers and begin working on their Torah and Haftarah portions.  Because every student is different, not every Bar/Bat Mitzvah service will be the same.  Some students will lead more prayers than others and some will chant more Torah than others.  Our goal is to help every student meet his or her potential.


Additional Requirments: 

  • Two adults are required to serve as ushers at a bar/bat mitzvah before yours (this will typically be sometime during the month before yours) for the entire duration of the service.  Reminders will be sent by email.  You are responsible for finding your own replacements if you have a conflict.  Please read the decorum guidelines as printed on the back of the bar/bat mitzvah pamphlet and try to ensure that the guidelines are followed as you would want them to be followed on your special day. 
  • It is suggested that a portion of the gifts received by the Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidate be given as tzedakah to a worthy organization. 
  • Proper attire must be worn at all worship services; shabby blue jeans, shorts, T-shirts, strapless dresses and extremely short skirts are examples of inappropriate clothing. 
  • Finally, we congratulate you and your child on reaching this important milestone.  Please remember that religious learning and living do not end with bar/bat mitzvah.  We encourage students to continue in the Religious School through high school.

We look forward to sharing this experience with you.