Sign In Forgot Password

Brit Mitzvah

KAVANNAH [intention]

The adult bar/bat mitzvah phenomenon is a recent and inspiring trend in American Jewish life.  Since every Jewish adult is regarded by halacha (traditional Jewish law) as a bar/bat mitzvah when they come of age (12 for girls, 13 for boys), the adult bar/bat mitzvah rite of passage is completely volitional.  Those who feel compelled to prepare for a Bat/Bat or Brit Mitzvah as an adult do it by choice, and for a great variety of reasons.  Given the diversity of kavannot (intentions), the program at CBE strives for enough structure to be both formal and flexible -- formal enough to facilitate the invaluable dynamics of a group working together, towards shared goals while rooted in tradition, and flexible to accommodate different dispositions, intentions and expectations.


The goal of the program is to facilitate and guide CBE adults in deepening and formalizing their love, experience of, and engagement in the primary mitzvot of Jewish Civilization through guided study, creative experimentation, and participation in Jewish communal life.  At CBE we define those primary mitzvoth as Torah, Avodah and Gemilut Hesed (or tzedakah).  Torah, defined broadly as Jewish learning and on-going education, is primary.  Avodah might be described as spiritual practice, cultivating a prayerful or embodied mindfulness practice. The third, gemilut hesed is about acts of kindness and communal service.  The list of goals may vary for participants, but A MENU might look like this…

  • Learn to read and begin to understand Hebrew
  • Deepen knowledge, comfort and joy in studying Torah – Jewish literature, law and lore
  • Experiment with various forms of Jewish spiritual discipline including prayer, meditation, holiday observance and ritual practice
  • Participate in a group pursuing similar goals, experience a learning hevre [community].
  • Co-Create a rite of passage in a Jewish communal context to mark this stage in your spiritual journey


  • Participate in a 12-18 month educational program that includes Hebrew and Jewish studies
  • Learn (or improve) the ability to read Hebrew
  • Read and resspond to the Torah in sync with the weekly readings called parashat hashavuah
  • Learn to chant torah and/or haftarah – demonstrate familiarity with the Shabbat trope system/s for chanting scripture
  • Plan and co-lead a Shabbat morning service at CBE
  • Prepare and deliver a d’var torah, a commentary on Torah-and-life, integrating personal stories and Jewish narratives.


  • A regular class or tutorial either in Hebrew and/or Jewish Studies
    1. A Hebrew class with CBE Religious School or another source,
    2. Or, a private tutorial in consultation with Rabbi Jamie
    3. Or, another weekly class
  • A trope training workshop
  • Shabbat morning classes (Bagel Table or Book Study) and/or services once / month
    1. Perhaps a pre-service class every other Saturday
  • Regular appointments (every 4-6 weeks) with Rabbi Arnold
    1. Appointments initiated and set up by the candidate
    2. review goals, expectations, and progress

The Program currently being proposed will have three components:

  • Section 1: Torah -- General Jewish Studies
    •             Using Michael Strassfeld’s A Book of Life
    •             Parshat Hashavuah Torah study
    •             Hebrew language reinforcement – building reading fluency
  • Section 2:  Avodah -- The Siddur / Jewish Worship
  • Section 3: Naasei v’Nishma [Practicum] – Co-Creating a Rite of Passage
    • Plan and Prepare a service/ceremony itself
Mon, April 12 2021 30 Nisan 5781