The Orientation Meeting, for parents and students, is on the morning (10 am – Noon) of Sunday, September 11th, 2016. There will be bagels and cream cheese, juice and coffee, and we will explain and demonstrate the program in detail. The meeting, and all classes, will be held at::
The Riddick Youth Center
2634 Overland Ave, West Los Angeles
(at the North East corner of Overland & Ashby Between Pico and National Blvds)
When you are sure that you want your student in our program you should register and pay the $500 deposit. At that time you can pick a B’nai Mitzvah date. To register, email Peggi and ask for a B’nai Mitzvah registration form.
Your child will study with our two Rabbis, Rabbi Stan and Rabbi Laura, every Sunday morning for the school year. It is all taught through film (no books, no homework) and the kids really enjoy the learning process!
For the first few months the students will watch movies of the most important stories in the Torah, portrayed by some of the finest actors in the world. When we enter our Holocaust section, they will watch documentary films about the Holocaust as seen through the eyes of kids who are approximately their age; our next section is following the story of the founding of the modern state of Israel, including the ongoing struggles with its Palestinian citizens. Toward the end of the year they will watch a documentary about social and moral issues young teenagers have to face.
In addition to these Sunday classes, she/he will learn to read Hebrew with a gentle and inspiring Hebrew tutor in private weekly sessions in your home. They will also learn to understand, pray and chant the basic prayers of Judaism, as well as their Torah (and perhaps Haftarah) portions. There is (of course!) homework in this part of the program.
Then, approximately three months prior to their service, they will come for an hour either before or after class on Sundays to practice with the rabbis, along with perhaps one or two other students, so that they become comfortable leading the service and standing in front of others.
Rabbi Stan or Rabbi Laura will conduct your B’nai Mitzvah service, at your unique date and location.
The service can be adapted by you and our rabbis to reflect your family’s Jewish practice, and to highlight your child’s accomplishment. You may use the B’nai Horin Shabbat prayerbooks, or you may create your own, incorporating all the prayers and blessings that will be used during the service.
This experience has proved over decades to instill joy in the families who participate, and leave a lasting connection to our Jewish heritage and relevance to the issues in contemporary life.
Want to hear what some parents say?
“We really appreciate and rave to everyone how much our son enjoys his Jewish experience with you. It is hard to believe that the same kid who used to lash out in tears describing going to his other Sunday school as “worse than being in a pit with snakes and spiders doing homework all day” (and he really hates spiders) to happily joyfully willing to go and telling people who ask – “I like it a lot.”
“Thank you for understanding the times of today and being willing to make the experience a rich, relatable, pertinent, expansive and enjoyable one.”
“I’m writing because my experience with you and your program for both our son and our daughter has really opened my eyes to an approach to Judaism and religion that feels so much more organic, authentic, accessible, and inclusive. I cannot begin to tell you how many people approached me after to tell me how much they loved how you conducted the service and several have asked me how to become part of your program.”
“We are still basking! Thank you so much for the most wonderful, amazing, lovely bat mitzvah ceremony, which was above and beyond anything I ever imagined. So many guests have told me how for the first time they could understand everything said and done…”
“Wish there were better words than “thank you,” since they seem so pedestrian compared to what you did for us. I can’t tell you how many of our friends told us this was easily the most beautiful service they’d ever been to. (Several of them added, “I know people always SAY that, but this time it’s true.”) Everyone talked about how musical it was, how personal, how relaxed and upbeat.”
“I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a bat/r mitzvah child look as happy as our daughter did during the entire service. She clearly felt prepared and ready and like it was something to enjoy and not something to fear–and I give you and her wonderful tutor Rina all the credit for that.”
“You really make the whole process of having a bat mitzvah meaningful and spiritual and so wonderful. I honestly enjoyed the service so much more than the party! The program at B’nai Horin makes it manageable for every child, regardless of level, and each kid feels successful. I feel lucky that my three kids have all been able to work with you and that I have had the pleasure to know you. You are so warm and genuine and kind and loving. Thank you.”
And what some kids have to say?
(from a bat mitzvah speech)
Shabbat Shalom. Thank you everyone for coming today.
“First of all I’d like to thank Rabbi Laura for inspiring me every week and pointing out new aspects of every prayer. Thank you for teaching me the meaning of a Bat Mitzvah, how to look at it in many ways, and connect the prayer, rather than just read it. I never got bored of the enthusiasm you brought to class. You truly made my experience valuable and memorable.
I’d also like to thank Rabbi Stan for helping me understand Jewish history and leading me on a spiritual path to my bat mitzvah. You created a modern twist on all the stories of the Torah and captivated the class’ attention with your relevant meanings”
(thank you from a happy former bat mitzvah student)
“Well, I’m emailing you because its exactly 1 year since my bat mitzvah. I wanted to say thank you again and I would also like to visit you and Rabbi Stan soon because I miss seeing you both. I miss our moments we used to have before class when we were practicing for my bat mitzvah and I miss seeing you both every Sunday (even if it was early in the morning). I just wanted to tell you I was and still am so thankful to have had you both to guide me through becoming a bat mitzvah and teaching me various prayers and stuff about Judaism. Also for being people I could look up to and know that I could ask advice from both you and Rabbi Stan. I had such a fun time with you and like I said at my bat mitzvah, i feel like I’ve known you for so much longer because of our deep connection. Thank you again, and I hope to see you and Rabbi Stan soon.”
We could go on and on – but we’d love to have your younger brothers and sisters – or your family friends – experience this for themselves! We hope to see you, and your friends, at The Riddick Center on September 11.