B’nai Mitzvah: Frequently Asked Questions
How are the lessons given?
Lessons may be done in person, or via a combination of in-person, telephone or by Skype/Face Time. Rabbi Deb makes CDs and mp3’s that can be sent to you with the prayers and the Torah readings. Other electronic options are also available.
Where does the Service take place?
Bar/Bat Mitzvah is more about becoming part of the Jewish community, and less about the physical location of the ceremony. Rabbi Deb has officiated at Bar/Bat Mitzvah services that have been held in private homes, hotel function rooms, restaurants, catering halls and outdoors. All have been equally meaningful. Any location can be turned into a “sanctuary” by those present who pray and celebrate together.
Does Rabbi Deb have a Torah scroll?
Yes. Rabbi Deb can provide a full-sized Torah scroll for use at the service at a nominal fee. A small Torah with portable ark is another option.
Is there a cantor who works with Rabbi Deb for the Bar/Mat Mitzvah?
Rabbi Deb often works with a gifted leader of Jewish song and prayer who joins her in leading the service. She is also happy to work with a cantor of your choosing. In the interest of keeping your costs down, and because Rabbi Deb is experienced in leading all parts of the service, she can also happily lead the service herself!
How long does the preparation take?
That depends! The first thing Rabbi Deb will do is meet with you and your child to get a sense of the background of your child and the kind of event you hope to create. For many families and kids, the preparation generally takes a year, though in some cases less than that. Once you have a date in mind, preparations can be customized to work within that time-frame.
What if I or my child cannot learn to read Hebrew?
When needed, Rabbi Deb is willing to teach the Hebrew portions in transliteration (English letters).
Does Rabbi Deb prepare adults who wish to have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah?
Some adults, especially women who may have grown up in more traditional Jewish households, reach adulthood without having had a Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony. Rabbi Deb herself had a wonderful and most meaningful Bat Mitzvah celebration at the age of 47, a day that ranks among the most meaningful of her life. She will work with individual adults as well as with groups of adults to prepare them for Bar/Bat Mitzvah. The ceremonies Rabbi Deb has created with her adult students are memorable and spiritually fulfilling life cycle events. She will also work in a group setting to prepare for a group ceremony. As always, Rrabbi Deb adjusts the content of the learning to meet the needs of the individuals.
What are Rabbi Deb’s fees?
The fee is $85 for a 45-minute one-on-one teaching session. Rabbi Deb usually “meets” weekly with students. Schedules are flexible and can be adjusted to meet the student’s needs.
Rabbi Deb’s fee for officiating the service, including a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Certificate, is $1,250; a deposit of $500 is expected. Use of the Torah scroll is an additional $250, and the siddur (prayer book) rental fee is $200.
Rabbi Deb travels to most locations within several hours of her home in New Jersey. If you are having your event out of the Tri-State area, expect to add a travel surcharge to the fee and a hotel room if an overnight stay is required.
“We want to thank you for all your hard work to prepare our son for his Bar Mitzvah. Your encouragement and positive attitude were exactly what he needed to keep motivated.”- M.M., Warren County, NJ
“Thank you for all of your help in preparing our son for his Bar Mitzvah and for your support and calming reassurance along the way.” – S.B., Randolph, NJ
“Without your passion for Jewish education and children, our daughter would not be as confident and prepared as she was for her Bat Mitzvah. There are no adequate words to express how grateful we are for the good fortune of being able to know you. May you continue to do what you love and are so good at, inspiring Jewish youth!” – S.S., Rockaway, NJ
“Your teaching, understanding and support helped me stand up there and do a great job reading my Torah portion. I believe that “when we are ready, a teacher will appear.” I was ready … and there you were for me! You make such a large difference in my life. Todah rabbah!” – H.B. (adult learner), Rockaway, NJ