Sign In Forgot Password



B'nai Mitzvah Program Timeline

12 - 18 months before Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Students and parents join together for 8 sessions on Sunday mornings throughout the school year for our Journey to Adulthood (J2A) B’nai Mitzvah workshop series to delve deeper into the meaning and practice of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ritual. Information on this program can be found here.


1 year before Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Parent(s) or guardian(s) meet in-person with Rabbi Kaiman for an hour-long meeting to set the tone for the year ahead, discuss the process, and commit to a year of learning and growth for all. Contact Member Services Coordinator Adam Klein at to schedule the meeting via Rabbi Kaiman's Calendly link.


5 -6 months before Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Bar/Bat Mitzvah student(s) schedule four to six half-hour one-on-one meetings with either Rabbi Kaiman or Rabbi Helfand to study their Torah portion and prepare a d'var Torah. The meetings can be bi-weekly but please limit to no more than one per week.

Contact Adam Klein at to schedule the meetings via Rabbi Kaiman's Calendly link.

To schedule meetings with Rabbi Helfand, visit his Calendly link


action items:

As you prepare for your child(ren)'s simcha, please review and complete the following action items. Adam Klein ( is the point of contact for the information below.


A document called the "Gabbai Sheet" serves as a guide to each B'nai Mitzvah service which the Bar or Bat Mitzvah student, tutor and Rabbis Kaiman and Helfand will use in the Sanctuary during the service. The honors information you provide will ultimately be entered into your child(ren)'s unique Gabbai Sheet. The template for your child(ren)'s Bar/Bat Mitzvah will be sent in advance of the event via Google Drive. You may begin inserting the names of your honorees and other requested details upon receipt. Click the button below for an example and additional info.

Gabbai Sheet - Learn More


Families of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah at Shearith Israel are expected to host the Kiddush luncheon at the conclusion of the Shabbat morning service. Please share the names of the Kiddush sponsors with Adam ( so we may have proper signage at the buffet. For a list of caterers and for kiddush planning logistics, click here:

Kiddush Planning & Details

BIO & PHOTO for newsletter

We are pleased to share the bio and photo of our B'nai Mitzvah students in our weekly newsletter the week preceding the simcha. Please upload your child(ren)'s bio and photo two weeks before the Bar/Bat Mitzvah to the form below, or email them to The form includes an example of a bio. Feel free to use the same format and simply plug in the appropriate info.

Bio & Photo Upload Form 

photo shoot

Many Bar/Bat Mitzvah families choose to have formal photos taken in the sanctuary with Rabbi Kaiman and/or Helfand. Photo sessions are typically scheduled for Thursdays from 4:30- 6:30 pm or Friday late morning/early afternoons. Please schedule your session at least one month prior to your simcha with Adam at


It's our practice to throw soft candy at the Bar/Bat Mitzvah following the Torah reading during the morning service. Here's a link on Amazon to the Sunkist Fruit Gems we use. The photo and bio upload form above includes that link as well as a link to kosher certification symbols to ensure the candy you purchase is certified kosher if you get it elsewhere. 


Many families choose to create and distribute a Bar/Bat Mitzvah program to list honorees and share with guests the meaning and symbolism in the service. A program is not required. Please submit a draft of your program 2 - 3 weeks before the event so we can provide any necessary edits to Hebrew spelling, information about Shearith Israel, etc. Families are responsible for printing the programs. Email Adam at for examples and templates you can choose from.  


Many families choose to order kippot for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. They are not required. There are plenty of outlets online to choose from to purchase customized kippot.

Please bring programs (if applicable), candy, kippot (if applicable), and kiddush centerpieces (if applicable) to the office by early afternoon on the Friday before the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. 

Mazel tov!

Fri, February 23 2024 14 Adar I 5784