Shir Ami Bucks County, PA CongregationNewtown, Pennsylvania Reform Synagogue
Shir Ami Website - Many Voices. One Song flame
101 Richboro Road • Newtown, PA 18940

MAIN OFFICE: 215-968-3400
RELIGIOUS SCHOOL: 215-968-3254

Bar and Bat Mitzvah

Bar/Bat Mitzvah at Shir Ami

At Shir Ami, Bar/Bat Mitzvah is celebrated by participating in Shabbat worship, by reading and interpreting Torah and by assisting in the leading of the service.  In truth, however, it is even more than this.  At Shir Ami, when a young Jew becomes Bar/Bat Mitzvah, it is a public statement that represents:
•  an elementary knowledge of Hebrew and Jewish studies •  a commitment to seek a mature understanding of Jewish history, customs, ethics, and theology •  acceptance of moral responsibility for individual actions •  acceptance of the necessity of deepening and enriching one's Jewish identity •  a commitment to tzedakah

The Meaning & Responsibilities of Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Bar/Bat Mitzvah and its attendant period of preparation constitute an important experience in the life of a young Jewish man or woman.  At the same time, Bar/Bat Mitzvah is only a stepping-stone in his or her Jewish educational and religious growth, and not the culmination or end-point of the learning process. Bar/Bat Mitzvah students are expected to continue their studies at Shir Ami through Confirmation. Bar/Bat Mitzvah is not a culmination but a beginning -- the opening of the door toward a more mature understanding and appreciation of Judaism as a way of life.  There are a great many ways in which this more mature understanding may be expressed, such as:
• translating ethical principles into moral actions, consonant with the great teachings of our tradition • reading and discussing writings of Jewish interest and relevance • the celebration of Jewish holidays in a spirit of respect and joy • the observance of Shabbat as a time of rest and refreshment, of quiet study and family  sharing • studying our tradition, customs and beliefs in an effort to deepen our Jewish identity and commitment