United Hebrew Congregation, 13788 Conway Road, St. Louis, MO 63141 | 314-469-0700

B’nai Mitzvah

As a family, you will experience one of the most significant, highly spiritual Jewish adventures of your lifetime as your son or daughter becomes Bar or Bat Mitzvah. This is a highly emotional journey and may be filled with some anxiety, but mostly joy. At UH, our rabbis, cantor, Hebrew teachers and the entire staff relish our time together with you as we create a joyous and uplifting simcha experience.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies present a wonderful opportunity for Jewish families to celebrate the emergence into adolescence of a daughter or son. This Jewish tradition emphasizes learning, prayer, and public competence as demonstrations of maturity.

Of course, preparation for Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies takes hard work, sacrifice, and commitment. However, the completion of a successful Bar/Bat Mitzvah process affirms the self-esteem of an emerging adolescent Jew and his or her family. We are here to help you along the path.

  • 9-7 Months Before – Meet weekly with Cantor Eichaker on Tuesday or Thursday.
  • 6 Months Before – Family meeting – parent(s) and the Bar/Bat Mitzvah student – with Rabbi Rosenberg to begin work on d’var Torah and answer any questions to help alleviate any growing anxiety.
  • 5 Months Before – Meet individually with rabbis to discuss d’var Torah, choose English readings, discuss Haftarah, and personal prayer.
  • 2 months Before – Meet with Rabbi Shapiro to read through all English – prayers, d’var Torah, personal prayer, Haftarah introduction.
  • 1 month Before – Meet weekly, on the bimah, with Cantor Eichaker to get comfortable and help minimize any anxiety.
  • 2-4 Weeks Before – Final meeting to discuss 613 commandments with Rabbi Rosenberg.
  • 1 week Before – Final family rehearsal with Cantor Eichaker – walk through the entire service.

With personalized attention, the rabbis, cantor and Emily Goldberg, our clergy assistant, are ready to assist all families of the congregation to maximize their Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies as authentic and meaningful religious experiences.

To schedule a Bar/Bat Mitzvah date, please call Emily Goldberg, 314-469-0700.

Schedule Bar/Bat Mitzvah Meetings

We look forward to working with your son or daughter weekly to prepare for this special day. Please contact Emily Goldberg (314-469-0700) with any questions regarding scheduling.

B’Nai Mitzvah FAQ

What will we do Friday Evening? The B’nai Mitzvah family —parents and children—will be invited to lead the candle blessing and kiddush.

What time do services begin on Saturday morning? Services begin at 10:30 a.m. unless there are two b’nai mitzvah scheduled and then there is a 9:00 a.m. and an 11:00 a.m. service.

What do parents do? Customarily the parents are called to the bima to stand with their child during his/her aliyah. Parents also read a parent blessing (in English) and offer words to their child.

What are the customs regarding tallitot and kippot (yarmulkes)? Tallitot and kippot are not required, but are encouraged for those for whom it would be meaningful.

How can I honor other people? There are two aliyot to be given and the following are also honors:

  • Readings during the 2nd half of the service (there are approximately 4 prayers)
  • Opening/Closing the ark
  • Dressing/Undressing the Torah
  • Handing out candy (if thrown at the end of the service)