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B'nei Mitzvah

Having a B'nei Mitzvah is an experience in community. It is a statement that one is now ready to participate in the Jewish community as an adult. Havurah Shalom is built upon the active participation of all its members. We believe in passing on Jewish tradition to our children while continuing to learn ourselves.

In order to be true to these beliefs, the congregation requires timely active membership prior to this important family life cycle passage of is B’nei Mitzvah. A period of membership provides the opportunity for new member families to become part of the Havurah community so their child comes of age in an ongoing community and the family is held in this life passage.

Though this may delay the bar or bat mitzvah until the young person is in his or her mid-teens, we believe it takes a foundation of time in order to build strong community ties and create significant relationships. A B'nei Mitzvah is a significant event in the life of a young person. Religiously, B'nei Mitzvah are responsible for their moral actions. They also take their place of responsibility in the Jewish community by participating in Shabbat Services.

B’nei Mitzvah Workshops for 2021

B’nei Mitzvah Cohort
Youths being called to the Torah this year will build community and ask, “What does being Jewish and becoming bar, bat or b’nei mitzvah mean to me?” Led by Rabbi Benjamin. 6:45-8 pm, Wednesdays, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27

B’nei Mitzvah Planning Logistics
Planning and setup at Havurah–a walk through the B’nei Mitzvah Handbook with Rachel Pollak, Havurah’s Office and Facilities Manager. 7 pm, Wednesday, Nov. 3

B’nei Mitzvah: Beginning the Journey/Date Selection
This workshop for parents will focus on the rite of passage itself, then on the date-selection process. Led by Rabbi Benjamin, Deborah Eisenbach-Budner and the B’nei Mitzvah Committee. 10-12 pm, Sunday, Feb. 27

Drash and Service Workshop
Rabbi Benjamin will guide students and parents in responding to the text with their own questions and walk through the Shabbat morning service. 7 pm, Wednesday, Jun. 1

Whose B'nei Mitzvah Is It Anyway?
Parents explore the hopes and fears that inspire, inform and complicate the planning process. Led by Deborah Eisenbach-Budner and Laura Orgel, psychologist and child/family therapist. Date TBA

Please check our online calendar to confirm the dates and times above.


  • B’nei Mitzvah Handbook  (PDF, updated May 2020)
  • Additional Guidelines (PDF) for when your bar/bat mitzvah falls on a Shabbat School date
  • Tutors & Musicians: For a current list, contact Rachel in the Havurah office at 503-248-4662 ext. 2.

Saturday Morning

Who Should I Contact?


Brad Pector, Communications & Membership Coordinator,

B'nei Mitzvah Date Selection or Changes

Amanda Coffey & Constance Plager, B'nei Mitzvah Committee co-chairs

Tutors & Musicians

Rabbi Benjamin Barnett,

Facility Use & Logistics

Rachel Pollak, Facilities & Office Manager,

Mitzvah Project

Laura Orgel, B'nei Mitzvah Committee member

Questions Related to Family Dynamics & Learning Needs

Deborah Eisenbach-Budner, Education Director,
Rabbi Benjamin Barnett,


B'nei Mitzvah Schedule

Click here to see our 2020-2021 B'nei Mitzvah schedule (login required).

Thu, October 28 2021 22 Cheshvan 5782