The Adult Bnai Mitzvah (ABM) class for 2023-2024 is directed both to adults who had a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah as a child and would like to expand their Jewish knowledge as the members of the Jewish community and to Jewish adults who never participated in a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah service.
Class sessions will begin on Sunday, September 10, recess for Rosh Hashanah, September 17, and pick up again for weekly sessions on September 24. Classes will usually be in person from 9:00 am to 11:15 am at CBS in classrooms or the social hall based on availability. Meeting via Zoom will be accommodated when class members or the teacher are unable to come in person. Classes will culminate the following summer by leading a Shabbat service on an available date agreed upon by the class.
ABM Shabbat Shacharit service
The group will participate in the Shabbat Shacharit service from Kol Haneshamah consistent with current Congregation Beth Shalom practices. Class members will lead the service, lein Torah, share Divrei Torah, and celebrate with family and friends. We will use Pray Tell. A Haddassah Guide to Jewish Prayer as a resource.
Knowledge of Hebrew
Participants must complete the National Jewish Outreach Program (NJOP) Hebrew Reading Crash Course Level I online or demonstrate comparable Hebrew reading facility. We will continue to develop Hebrew reading skills by going mindfully through the NJOP Hebrew Reading Crash Course book again and by reading Torah and Siddur selections as we proceed through the course. Hebrew pronunciation will follow current modern Israeli practice as described in Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Vehagim on pages xxviii-xxviii.
Torah trope and leining
After achieving Hebrew reading proficiency, we will begin learning Torah trope. There will be several opportunities for class members to lein Torah on Saturday mornings prior to the ABM service in the summer. Haftarah trope and leining will be optional and at the initiative of individual class members.
We will begin with the book of Shemot (Exodus) in January. We will read and discuss the Israelite exodus from Mitzra’im in anticipation of Pesach. Topics during these portions of Shemot include the Ten Commandments and Rosh Chodesh.
Jewish holidays and Jewish Studies
We will study Channukah, Purim, Pesach, and Shavuot as time permits.
Class members will be expected to practice Hebrew and Torah skills and complete reading assignments in advance of every class. They will also need to study the Shabbat Shacharit service in preparation for leading it as a group. They can expect to lein Torah and lead parts of the Shacharit service approximately monthly beginning in late winter to build confidence in advance of the ABM service in the summer.
Class members must be Congregation Beth Shalom members and are expected to make a $400 additional donation for participation in the class. Each will receive a copy of Kol Haneshamah from CBS. The maximum class size will be around ten students.
Please contact Tom Wolff with questions.