There is a community service requirement in becoming a bar/bat mitzvah. That requirement can be satisfied by the 7th grade curriculum which includes a community service section. We encourage students to take advantage of this wonderful program and to complete their community service requirement with the rest of the 7th graders. For children who will become a bar/bat mitzvah early in the school year, they may not complete their community service requirement before their actual bar/bat mitzvah - but that is okay. The Temple understands that the child is working on their community service project with their peers and the project will be completed by the end of the religious school year.
For Students Celebrating a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Early in the School Year:
If it is important to you and your family that that community service requirement be completed before the actual bar/bat mitzvah, you are welcome to complete the community service requirement independently of the Center for Jewish Learning. This project is to be done on the “honor system.” Please send an email to Rabbi Jaech at firstname.lastname@example.org and briefly outline what you propose for your independent community service project. You must complete 18 hours of service before your bar/bat mitzvah and then create a poster board or a Power Point presentation explaining what you did and what you learned from your experience. The poster/presentation can also contain flyers from the organization, drawings you make yourself, or photographs of the event or of you working at the event. If you created a poster board that you would like displayed in the lobby the morning of your bar/bat mitzvah you must remember to request an easel from the office.
“Our school is about more than becoming a bar mitzvah.”
- a Temple Israel 7th grade teacher
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Project Completed with the Center for Jewish Learning (CJL):
Temple Israel is delighted to be able to help your child reach the milestone of becoming a bar/ bat mitzvah, but that is not where our Jewish education stops. The 7th grade curriculum is focused on having the students ask themselves what it means to be a Jewish adult. Students will learn about the Holocaust and what we can do as Jews to make this world a better place to live, among other topics.
To successfully complete the 7th grade year, 7th grade students must perform 18 hours of community service. Your child can easily complete their community service requirement through the 7th grade Mitzvah Fair. The Fair is held each October and presents to 7th grade students a variety of community service projects in which they could participate. The students will often choose to work with their friends, and carpool arrangements can make the driving tasks easier on the adults. At the conclusion of the class year, each student is expected to present a poster board or create a Power Point presentation outlining their community service project at the “Moving Up” ceremony held in May.
If your child would like to complete their 7th grade community service project through an organization that is not part of our Mitzvah Fair, he/she must present the project to their CJL school teachers for prior approval.
The CJL hopes, and expects, that your child will continue their Jewish education with us through the end of 7th grade. After that, the Temple welcomes your child to the higher grades and to continue with their Jewish learning and living.