Bar and Bat Mitzvah

At Or Shalom Synagogue


This is a short form of a longer document.  Read the full information here.


Or Shalom (Light of Peace) Synagogue is a Jewish spiritual community affiliated with ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal.  We are creative, egalitarian, traditional, and participatory.


The Bar and Bat Mitzvah Program at Or Shalom is designed to:



Group Learning. In the September - June B'yachad (together) program, students preparing for a bar or bat mitzvah in the coming year meet for approximately 12 Sunday mornings. Together, they get to know one another; learn about deeper meanings of the key ideas in the bar and bat mitzvah ceremony; and engage in a significant mitzvah project. The course is taught by Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan, with the help of learned community members.



Individual Learning. For six months to a year prior to the ceremony, students work weekly with a tutor to learn the Torah reading and prayers specific to their ceremony. About two months before the ceremony, students meet with the Rabbi for four one-hour sessions to prepare their dvar Torah (speech).



Parent Responsibilities. Parents are asked to (1) meet the financial obligations listed below; (2) attend the B'yachad class with their son or daughter; (3) arrange for individual tutoring for their child, in consultation with the Or Shalom rabbi; (4) work with the rabbi to plan the details of the ceremony; (5) provide a kiddush lunch after the ceremony for all who are attending.

Financial Responsibilities


Fees for tutoring & catering are arranged privately with service providers.


Or Shalom seeks to include all participants, regardless of their financial resources. If the membership fees are prohibitive, please speak with the Or Shalom Treasurer about what you are able to afford. If B'yachad course tuition or tutoring fees are prohibitive, please speak with the Rabbi. Both the Treasurer and the Rabbi may be reached by leaving a message in the Or Shalom Office.


Payments should be sent directly to the Or Shalom office.



To Proceed. Contact Rabbi Kaplan. She will be happy to answer any questions you may have, to discuss possible dates for the ceremony, and to send you the complete manual describing bar and bat mitzvah at Or Shalom.  Children of interfaith families are welcome in the bar and bat mitzvah program. Please discuss your individual situation with the Rabbi.



Contact Information

Mailing address: Or Shalom Synagogue,  710 E 10th Avenue,  Vancouver BC  V5T 2A7

Phone: 604-872-1614







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