The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Journey

Everyone’s relationship with Judaism

is unique – as are each of our children.

An Individual Journey

The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Journey should leverage the individual spirit of the participant and, on the day of their event, allow them to shine as the unique person they are! This is why DUGMAH’s approach to a B’nai Mitzvah is to design them from the ground up.We incorporate the family’s traditions, practices and the desires of the young man or woman into a ceremony that truly celebrates their connection to the larger Jewish community. 

Path of Study

B’nai Mitzvah students work 1-on-1 with a Dugmah Mentor on a weekly basis to prepare for their ceremony.  Study begins by exploring what a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is and defining what it will mean to the individual participant.  Often, children are told that the event represents the point where they become Jewish “adults” and take on greater responsibility.  While there is truth to that, it is meaningless without context and personalization.  So, we spend a great deal of time discussing and identifying what becoming a “Jewish Adult” means to the larger Jewish community and to the individual student.  Some of the topics include:

  • What are ones ethical responsibilities as a Jew?

  • Understanding and exploring personal moral accountability through a Jewish lens.

  • How do you represent yourself, your family and the Jewish community in a larger context?

  • Learning how to participate and feel comfortable at a Jewish service.

  • What is involved in leading a religious service, putting on as tallit, reading from the Torah,
    and being counted as an adult during prayer services.


  • Why do we say the prayers that we do, such as the “Shema”?
    And, what is their meaning and why might we care?


Customized Ceremonies

Once we understand the needs of the family, a process begins to build a customized prayerbook, a “siddur,” that will be used on the day of the child’s celebration. This memento, which can be provided to each guest, incorporates traditional Jewish prayers with music and reading. All content is chosen by the B’nai Mitzvah celebrant and their family to reflect their values. During the ceremony itself, so that the young men and women can shine, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah will participate in any number of ways, which may include:

  • Blessings and reading from the Torah

  • Personalized readings

  • Leading the entire service from opening prayer to concluding prayer

  • Delivering a “D’var Torah” – also known as their B’nai Mitzvah speech

  • Showcase individual talents of which they are proud: (i.e., vocals or
    other musical instrumentations; drawing, photography or other art forms; 
    poetry, writings and readings.)