Stephen Wise Free Synagogue recognizes the bar and bat mitzvah process as a very special and emotional experience for families. Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, Cantor Daniel Singer, and the entire staff at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue work hard to ensure that every bar and bat mitzvah is a meaningful and personal occasion.
Traditionally, when a Jewish child turns 13, they are treated as Jewish adults, becoming b’nai or b’not mitzvah (sons or daughters of commandments—these are the plural forms of bar or bat mitzvah) who are expected to fulfill the mitztvot (ethical commandments of Jewish life).
In contemporary Jewish observance, the occasion of becoming bar or bat mitzvah involves a celebrant’s being called up to read from the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) at a Shabbat service and then delivering a discussion of the week’s parasha (Torah portion). Our b’nai mitzvah is not a coming of age ceremony, but rather a celebration of our commitment to Judaism.
At Stephen Wise, while most bar or bat mitzvah ceremonies are for our school-aged students, we also offer a meaningful two-year class for adults who never had one and want to become a bar or bat mitzvah. Regardless, Stephen Wise views the b’nai mitzvah as a process, where the actual ceremony is just the beginning of a life-long Jewish journey.
For more information about these programs, please visit our Religious School’s page or our Adult B’nai Mitzvah program’s page.
Discover Our Religious School
Looking for an enriching Jewish education? Stephen Wise Free Synagogue’s Religious School is the perfect place for you to deepen your child’s Jewish identity and Hebrew knowledge, engage with core Jewish values and traditions, and become part of a caring synagogue community.
Questions? We are here to help you through this journey toward bar/bat mitzvah.
Whitney Diamond, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Coordinator
Assistant to Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch
(212) 877-4050, ext. 226
Isaiah Benedek, Director of Membership Engagement
(212) 877-4050, ext. 223
Cantor Dan Singer
(212) 877-4050, ext. 237
Cantor Joyce Gerber, B’nai Mitzvah Tutor
(212) 877-4050, ext. 250
Become a Member
Are you searching for a community where you matter? Where you will have opportunities to make the world a better place; where your family will be included in synagogue life; where your children will grow up loving Jewish traditions; and where you can grow? There is a place for you in our community.
B’nai Mitzvah Prayers & Blessings
Explore all of the prayer and blessing resources for our b’nai mitzvah students, including spoken and sung recordings and text from our Saturday morning service.