BMitzvah! at Makom Community

Education Program in Preparation for BMitzvah Ceremony

We’re so excited to take the next part of your family’s journey with you and your child(ren) in the coming years! In the fall of 2019, our middle school students (5th grade and up) will move into a new and exciting iteration of their learning at Makom Community. It will be more individualized to meet their interests, include the whole family in the learning process, and prepare them to celebrate BMitzvah in a way that uniquely suits your child and your family.

What does BMitzvah look like at Makom Community?

BMitzvah is a transition over months to adolescence, not a single moment. We’ll support and journey with your family through that transition. The day when we celebrate BMitzvah can be as unique as your child. Many children and families will choose to have the child read Torah and lead a Shabbat service. All our students will master an area of Jewish life that interests them and teach our community about what they have learned.

What is the process to prepare for BMitzvah?

Every day that our BMitzvah cohort gathers at Makom Community, we will spend our time in three areas:

  • 1) Torah:

    Our learners will continue to build their skills to access Jewish wisdom and apply it to their lives, with a focus on texts that we can challenge and challenge us in return.

  • 2) Tefilah:

    We will continue to build skills for leading services, reading Torah and Haftarah, and having the Jewish literacy to participate thoughtfully in the practice of Jewish prayer.

  • 3) Capstone Project:

    Over the course of their two (or three) years in our BMitzvah program, students will work first in small groups and then later individually on studying areas of Jewish learning that motivate and excite them. See a list below for some examples of areas we might explore—though there are lots more!

What is the schedule?

Our 5th-7th grade students will attend Makom Community three days a week—all on the same three days from 4-6pm. If they are coming from a nearby school and can get here before 4pm, they are welcome to have some time to relax and work on homework. Since we have students coming from even more schools for middle school, we will need to begin our official learning as a cohort at 4pm. Which 3 days? TBD, either Monday-Wednesday or Tuesday-Thursday. If you have a preference, let us know.

What are the family learning components?

Twice a year, we’ll gather as whole families on a Saturday beginning with services in the morning and continue with lunch and learning into early afternoon. That will give parents an opportunity to experience the Tefilah (prayer) their children are preparing to lead and children an opportunity to practice leading services with their families there. Following lunch, we’ll have learning together in two groups: first whole families with pre-teens and younger siblings, then a pre-teen cohort and a parent cohort (with childcare available for younger siblings).

My family is already a member of a synagogue. How do these things work with doing BMitzvah at my synagogue?

Great! We’re so glad you asked. We have relationships with the synagogues in Center City and West Philly and are happy to coordinate and create an individualized plan for your child. That might mean a Shabbat dinner where your child teaches about their capstone project at Makom Community on a Friday night and then a Saturday morning where your child reads from the Torah and gives a speech at your synagogue. It might also mean that you opt to have your family mark this milestone just at Makom Community or just at your home synagogue. We’re here to support you on this journey, however it works best for your family.

Cost: $4900/year

Payable in 1 or 2 annual payments. This includes all books and materials for the year and individual tutoring as we get closer to your child’s BMitzvah celebration.

Tuition Assistance Available

Need-based tuition assistance available, on a first-come basis. We believe every child deserves a great Jewish education. Please contact Beverly as soon as you know your family requires aide in order to enroll.