Dear KI B’nai Mitzvah Families,
We are so excited to see your celebration approaching in the coming months! There will be many forms of learning and preparation along the road, and we are looking forward to accompanying you on that journey.
My name is Batya Ellinoy and I am thrilled to be joining Rabbi Hamilton, Shirah Rubin, and the KI community as the new B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator and to work alongside your family as you go through the B’nai Mitzvah process. I am originally from Monterey, California and am most recently coming from Prescott, Arizona where I was working as Associate Faculty in Integrated Arts/Dance at Prescott College. Having just moved to Boston to begin Rabbinical School at Hebrew College, I couldn’t be happier to be joining the warm and committed community at KI. I view this significant rite of passage of bar/bat mitzvah to be of great importance in continuing the gifts of our Jewish tradition, to the well-being of our individual spiritual development and that of our communities, and to the sustainability of the world. On many levels, this is no small endeavor! I truly look forward to getting to know each of your families throughout the next several months as we navigate this special time together.
KI has designed the b’nai mitzvah seminar as an annual program with a focus is on discerning values as our b’nai mitzvah become adult members of our community and of the world as a whole. Students and their parents will join together for monthly sessions over the course of the year. As a family, you will have the opportunity to connect and learn with other families who are preparing for bar/bat mitzvah at the same time. Once a month we will meet to spend time learning and volunteering together, as well as clarifying values individually and as a group. Additionally, we hope that students will devote significant time to serving the community in the year leading up to bar/bat mitzvah, in a way thatreflects their values and aspirations.
You’ll learn more about the whole program at our first meeting: Sunday, October 8th from 3-5pm.
Information about the specific sessions for the year ahead is below. For most of the sessions, we’ll meet at KI. As you can see in the list below, two of our sessions will be off campus; one meeting in Waltham, the other in Newton.
We will ll send updates as we get closer to each session about what exactly we’ll be doing and where the session will take place. For now, please mark your calendars:
Session 1 Sunday, 10/8 /17 • 3-5 pm at KI—Sukkah • What does it mean to become bar/bat mitzvah?
Learn about each other, mitzvot, the BM Seminar and our new signature mitzvah project. We will also have the opportunity to hear from families who have recently been through the B’nai Mitzvah process.
Sessions 2 Sunday, 11/12/17 • 10am-12:30 pm at Family Table, Waltham • Volunteering in the Community
Explore our values together through engagement in the world
Session 3 Sunday, 12/3/17 • 2-3:00 pm at Mayyim Hayyim, Newton • Mayyim Hayyim
Visit the community mikvah and learn about immersion as a ritual to mark transitions.
Session Saturday, 12/9/17 • 9:30am-1:30 pm at KI—Main Sanctuary • Shabbat Services
Come to shul and learn tefillot in preparation of leading in January. We will have time to practice after Kiddush.
Session 5 Saturday, 1/27/18 • 9:30am-12pm at KI—Main Sanctuary • Shabbat Services
Shabbat morning services led by our b’nai mitzvah class
Session 6 Sunday, 2/4/18 • 8:00-9:30am at KI—Main Sactuary • Tallit and Tefillin Workshop
A workshop in learning about the garments that help us embody mitzvoth
Session 7 Sunday, 3/4/18 • 3:00-5:00pm at KI—Library • Presentation of Mitzvah Projects
Reflect on each student’s signature mitzvah project
Session 8 Friday, 4/27/18 • 5:30-8:30pm at KI—Epstein • Shabbat Services and Dinner
Celebrate Shabbat together as a community
Session 9 Sunday, 5/6/18 • 3-5pm at KI—Library • What’s Next?
In this last session, we will explore the diversity of Jewish opportunities for post b’nai mitzvah students as they enter into their high school years!
Because everyone will be becoming bar/bat mitzvah at different times throughout the year, you might not have a chance to complete the seminar before your celebration. The seminar is designed such that the activities do not prepare a student for the day of the celebration, but for a thoughtful transition into becoming a thoughtful and responsible member of Jewish community, which we know continues well beyond the moment of the throwing of candy.
Please RSVP now for the seminar and for our first meeting on Sunday, October 8th by emailing Batya at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach out to me with any questions, and I very much look forward to connecting with you!
Warm wishes for a shana tova umetukah,
Batya Ellinoy, Shirah Rubin, & Rabbi Bill Hamilton