For Parents

Contact for
B'Nai Mitzvah:

Kristen Esquivel
(703) 532-2217, ext.313
kesquivel@templerodefshalom.org

Your family is about to embark on a most significant journey, a year long trip of preparation towards a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration. This is a wonderful and exciting time in the life of a young adult and your family. We, your clergy, join you in the preparation for this event as well as in the happiness that comes with it.

The ceremony that your child will soon observe symbolizes in Jewish terms the passing of the child from intellectual, emotional and moral childhood into adolescence. As in all other congregations in the world, it signifies the recognition by the young man or woman that he or she becomes responsible to God for his or her moral and religious actions.

The guiding principle of Bar and Bat Mitzvah at Temple Rodef Shalom is that this year of preparation and the simcha itself be full of joy and filled with emotional and intellectual satisfaction and growth for your child and your family. The attainment of this objective is possible only if your child is thoroughly prepared and personally motivated. Young people surely need the help of clergy, teachers and especially parents to achieve this goal. Thus, the observance of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a quintessential opportunity for both child and family to strengthen their commitment and connection to Judaism and our Temple.

Please read our Parents’ Guide, which provides many important details about our preparation process.

Please click here to view our B’nai Mitzvah preparation timeline chart. 

Date Assignments

Our date assignment survey for students born between October 1, 2006 and September 30, 2007 is available here. In addition, please contact the clergy office if you have any questions.


Forms to complete

First Payment Form 

Kol Kore Hebrew Computer Program Order Form (This is voluntary & not required)

Ushering on Shabbat

DVD Recording form

Second Payment Form

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Profile Form (Information for article to appear in the TRS Connection)

Service Information Form

Photography Policy Please provide this information to your photographer.

Final planning

Rehearsal Schedule

Checklist to Bring for Weekend of Service


Dates to Remember

1 Year prior to Bar/Bat Mitzvah: Attend our monthly family workshop with your child, where you will receive their binder, Hebrew materials, and you will fill out a tutor assignment survey. You will be notified of the date by the Clergy office.

11-10 Months Prior to Bar/Bat Mitzvah: Either Cantor Shochet or Cantor Rhodes will assign your child a tutor, based on your survey. The tutor will be informed of the assignment and will contact you.

10-6 Months Prior to Bar/Bat Mitzvah: Begin tutoring at 8 months for a morning service and 7 months for an afternoon service . After 4 tutoring lessons (roughly 2 months, schedule a Hebrew check with the clergy.

5-4 Months Prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah: Schedule a second Hebrew check with the clergy.

2 Months Prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah: Schedule a third Hebrew check with the clergy and a first meeting with Rabbi Saxe to begin the speech writing process.

1 Month Prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah: All Hebrew prayers, Torah portion and Haftarah should be completed.

Wednesday Before First Bimah Rehearsal: Meet with Rabbi Schwartzman and partner for an informal discussion meeting.

First Bimah Rehearsal with Cantor: Tuesday, 11-days prior to your service, if the service is a morning service. OR Thursday, 9-days prior to your service, if the case of an afternoon service. These rehearsals take place at 3 pm, and last one hour.

Final Bimah Rehearsal with Rabbi: Tuesday, 4-days prior to your service, if the service is a morning service. OR Thursday, 2-days prior to your service, if the case of an afternoon service. These rehearsals take place at 4 pm, and last one hour. Photography is allowed at this rehearsal.

BAR/BAT Mitzvah service times:
Saturday Morning: 10:30 am; Saturday Afternoon: 5 pm


Social Hall Rental Information:

Please visit the B’nai Mitzvah Rentals page for more information.