Adult Bar and Bat Mitzvahs

Did you know that children aren’t the only ones who can have bar and bat mitzvahs?

Truth is, adults of any age can have a bar or bat mitzvah. Especially:

  • Women whose parents didn’t send them to Hebrew school as children
  • Parents who never had the ceremony and want to take the B Mitzvah journey alongside their children
  • People who’ve recently converted to Judaism
  • Adults who feel they missed the spiritual aspect of the ceremony they did have as children and now want to celebrate a reconnection to the tradition or engross themselves in an adult Jewish learning program

    Most synagogues offer an adult bar or bat mitzvah programs. Generally, the only prerequisite is knowing the Hebrew alphabet. (If you don’t, you’ll have to sign up for an introductory adult Hebrew class, which can be found through your synagogue or Jewish community center. There are also many online sites that teach Hebrew.)

    Synagogue programs generally entail studying with your rabbi or cantor who can teach you:
    · How to read and sing the prayers to the Friday night and/ or Saturday morning service
    · The meaning behind the prayers
    · How to read and chant from the Torah
    · How to study the Torah and relate its lessons to modern life
    · Jewish spirituality

    Your program may also include mandatory attendance at Shabbat services throughout the year.

    What does it all lead up to? Long-lasting friendships with those who’ve taken the class with you, a deeply moving group B Mitzvah ceremony and a strengthened bond with your synagogue, rabbi, cantor, community and heritage. Not bad!

    Want to talk to other adults taking the same journey as you? Check out our forum. A subset of this forum that may be of particular interest is the Portion Club 4Adults, where you can connect with adults discussing the same Torah portion you're studying.

    Journalist Linda Wertheimer writes about her bat mitzvah at age 41. Read it here