In memory of Rabbi Theodore Brod…
The B’nai Mitzvah classes include adults with varied knowledge of Hebrew and Torah. Small class sizes and one-on-one Rabbi lessons will address the needs of a diverse student body.
Classes are offered in sequenced progression over a two-and-one-half year time span. This enables students to achieve readiness for a ceremony if desired in as short as one year for a subset curriculum. Congregation Or Ahavah will conduct B’nai Mitzvah group ceremonies in Tampa, Florida. When interest is demonstrated, every effort will be made to have the B’nai Mitzvah ceremony in Israel.
Our two-year adult b’nei mitzvah program is steeped in Jewish mysticism and tradition.
Here is a brief outline of some of the project’s salient points:
- There are no pre-requisites for enrollment.
- Every class includes core skills for Jewish practice and is steeped in Judaism’s rich mystical traditions.
- Our curriculum offers maximum flexibility in skill levels and scheduling.
- Tikkun Olam projects focus on the environment and social justice.
- We offer limited scholarships so that the program is affordable for most.
- The first program will be conducted locally, followed by an internet-based distance learning solution, accessible to Jews throughout the country.
Comprehensive B’nai Mitzvah Curriculum
3 pre-requisite classes:
- Basic Hebrew and Kabbalah on the Aleph-Bet
- Torah Study with Classic and Modern Commentaries, Personal Introspection, Lessons of Relevance, and Jewish Meditation to integrate lessons of the Torah
- Individual Rabbi lessons/preparation for B’nai Mitzvah service
4 elective classes (minimum: 1):
- Torah Reading and Chanting, with personal program for D’var Torah
- Haftorah Reading and Chanting (Prophets, Kings, Judges) with personal program for D’var Torah
- Tikkun Olam (Healing the self, Healing the world)
- Prayer (Healing the self, Healing the world)
Optional program elements:
- Shabbat Dinners and Saturday Night Havdallah parties (establishing sense of Jewish community and focus on Tikkun Olam) sponsored by B’nai Mitzvah students
- B’nai Mitzvah Service (group ceremony in Tampa or group trip to Israel)
- Basic Hebrew and Kabbalah on the Aleph-Bet – Each student will end the class with an ability to either chant Torah (no vowels), chant Haftarah (vowels), or chant the Blessings before and after the Torah readings. Additionally, each student will have both a cognitive and experiential appreciation for Hebrew as a sacred language.
- Torah study – Each student will be responsible for preparing a D’var Torah for the class that will include how the Parsha relates to their lives and to the world today. The D’var Torah can be expressed in a normative discussion relying on classical and modern commentaries, or through creative expressions such as a relevant guided meditation, a small tikkun olam project, music, drama, poetry, etc.
- Torah reading and chanting or Haftarah reading and chanting – Each Torah reading student will end the class with the requisite skills for reading from the Torah or from the Hebrew Bible in the case of Haftarah, and for applying the musical cantillation called Trope to the readings. The student will be able to discuss what the chanting conveys about the Torah or Haftarah reading.
- Tikkun Olam – Each student will end the class with a fundamental understanding of the meaning of Tikkun Olam in Jewish tradition and will have completed a self-chosen, developed and executed project.
- Prayer – Each student will end the class with an understanding of the benefits and challenges of traditional Jewish prayer, and will be exposed to standardized and spontaneous prayer currently and historically. Each student will develop their own prayer book or book of meditations for their personal use.
- Individual Lessons with the rabbi – Rabbi will help student develop their part of the B’nei Mitzvah ceremony.
- The program culminates in a B’nei Mitzvah ceremony either in Tampa or in Israel.