Becoming BMitzvah at Mishkan

BMitzvah (noun): A gender-neutral term for bar, bat, or b’nai mitzvah. It literally means “child of the commandment,” but we like to think of it as “a person who is now responsible for their own Jewish life.”

At Mishkan Chicago, we’ve crafted a unique BMitzvah program that speaks to our values of justice seeking, community building, and joyful inspiration. 

Through our Kehilat BMitzvah cohorts, we offer deep-dive learning sessions for our Bar and Bat Mitzvah families to learn what it means to be meaningfully engaged in justice work in our many communities.

Before we say the Shema in a traditional morning prayer service, we remind ourselves what being Jewish is all about. It’s about love, it’s about action, it’s about knowing where you come from and standing confidently as Jew with a sense of ownership as part of a larger community. At Mishkan, BMitzvah is an incredible opportunity not just for a Jewish teen, but for their entire family to build toward this vision.

If you are interested in your child becoming BMitzvah with Mishkan, please email Clare.

Our Community

At Mishkan, no one goes through the BMitzvah process alone. You’ll connect with other teens and their families through our Kehilat BMitzvah Sunday workshops (more on those below), with other Mishkanites at Shabbat services leading up to your BMitzvah and beyond, and with your wider communities and the world through your tzedek/justice project work. 

BMitzvah Timeline

Fall of Fourth Grade: Mishkan sends out notice to families “on our radar,” inviting them to select possible dates for their child’s BMitzvah. We do our best to coordinate with local communities. 

Winter of Fourth Grade: Official BMitzvah dates announced

Orientation Event for all fourth and fifth grade families

Fall of Fifth Grade

12-18 months before BMitzvah date: Families have their first individualized meeting with the rabbi. Families are matched with their student’s Torah tutor.

Spring of Sixth Grade: Kehilat BMitzvah cohort begins. All families becoming BMitzvah with Mishkan Chicago must participate in their KBM cohort.  In our Spring Kehilat BMitzvah classes, you and your family will join us for communal learning and relationship building with the other BMitzvah families, focusing on the history and deeper meaning of Torah (Jewish wisdom), Shabbat, prayer, and the other major components of a BMitzvah ceremony.  
In the Fall of seventh grade, we’ll shift our Kehilat BMitzvah learning towards our BMitzvah tzedek (justice) projects using Avodah’s Our Turn curriculum. Over these six sessions, we will take a deep dive into the big questions that come with a social justice service project as part of becoming a Jewish adult. We name this work your tzedek (justice) project, to lift up that learning about systemic oppressions, local social justice organizations, and Jewish wisdom in relation to service is essential in the journey to becoming a leader in our community, and in identifying the role of your Jewish identity in your life.