Temple Ner Simcha is committed to never forcing any Jew to “pay to pray”, which is why we have no obligatory membership dues or financial cost for High Holiday tickets. Similarly, our community and Rabbi find it profoundly sad that so many Jewish families are unable to train and put their child through the Bar/Bat Mitzvah rite of passage because it is too financially expensive. For this reason, we have created the TNS Free Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program. There are NO Financial Obligations associated with this program, so that no longer will finances be an obstacle that prevents a young Jew from going through this ritual.
There are no hidden fees to this program, which can begin up to 18 months prior to a bar/bat mitzvah date. There is NO fee for the ritual or preparation. The program includes:
- Weekly classes in Hebrew and prayers with our educational staff. No prior knowledge of Hebrew or liturgy is necessary.
- Private tutoring sessions on the young person’s Torah portion with a member of our educational staff
- Private sessions with Rabbi Barclay to understand the ritual at a deeper level for both the participant and the entire family.
- Use of our sanctuary, prayer books, and clergy for the ritual itself.
Some families may wish for “extras”, which can be arranged at an additional cost and can include:
- Additional private tutoring
- Floral arrangements
- Musicians for the event
Although we are committed to not having any financial cost for the ritual, the planning and finances of any subsequent party beyond the service are the responsibility of each family. TNS has made deals with local facilities including hotels, restaurants, and a private country club in the area at reduced rates if a family would like to take advantage of those pre-arranged deals for their party.
While there is no financial obligation, the following are non-financial requirements to participate in this program:
- Attendance at weekly bar/bat mitzvah preparation classes.
- Attendance as a family to at least two Shabbat Services per month.
- Attendance at High Holiday services as a family.
- Attendance for the individual at a yearly “Holocaust Education” weekend retreat at a local camp, where they will learn about the Holocaust, and meet survivors. Additional family members and friends are welcome to attend this weekend at a cost of $180 per person (includes food and lodging), but there is no cost for the participant to attend this mandatory weekend.
Although there is no financial cost associated with this program, it is our hope that if inspired, a family will choose to financially support the synagogue through voluntary donations, and that each family will become active in the TNS community after the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
No longer can finances be an obstacle to any family who would like to have their child go through this powerful right of passage. We believe that every Jew should have the right to be educated in our tradition and practices, and everyone is always welcome in our community no matter what their finances might be.
We invite you and your family to participate in this program by emailing our staff at Mitzvah@NerSimcha.org
May we all grow from strength to strength as Next Generation where is the beauty and depth of power traditions and practices.