What do I get with CyBarMitzvah?
You get an, interactive version of the text you are studying as well as a printable hard copy that matches the interactive text. For learning cantillation (trope) you get a booklet that you can print out. It is also possible to receive an audio and/ or file that can be put on your iPod or other player. CD’s are also available. If you wish, you can arrange individual lessons through the internet. Your CyBarMitzvah program is designed and assembled specifically for you. It all begins with a complimentary consultation were we determine what you want to accomplish and how we can make it happen.
What equipment do I need for CyBarMitzvah?
Almost any computer will work as long as it has speakers or headphones and a microphone. If you want to take full advantage of the interactive features of CyBarMitzvah, you will need an inexpensive webcam. All software you may need is either already on your computer or available for a free.
Do I need to know how to read Hebrew?
For most programs it is necessary to have at least a reading knowledge of Hebrew. But don't worry, we can help with that too. Also; it may be possible to work with transliterations under some circumstances. For those with developmental differences, we have almost always been able to put together a meaningful Bar/Bat Mitzvah service.
If I learn my Bar or Bat Mitzvah on line, where will I have the service?
If you are a member of a Synagogue, you
should consult your Cantor, Rabbi or the person in charge of the Bar/Bat
Mitzvah program to see what their policies and requirements are.
Obviously, it is best to work with your own Cantor if possible but
CyBarMitzvah can also be an excellent supplementary program. You will
have to reserve a date with your synagogue in advance in order to
determine what Haftara or Torah portions you should learn. We are
most willing to communicate with your synagogue to find out what is
If you are not a member of a Synagogue or wish to have a celebration in a different facility such as a banquet hall or hotel, we can usually arrange to come to where you are for a customized celebration. Many synagogues may also make accommodations for non-members or incoming members to use their facilities. We will talk about all of these possibilities during the initial consultation.
Is there a ceremony or special blessing I need to make me a Bar/Bat Mitzvah?
According to Jewish tradition, Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a status, not a ceremony. Thus just as in the United States, one is automatically eligible to vote at the age of 18; in Judaism one is automatically considered Bar /Bat Mitzvah at the age of 12 for a girl or 13 for a boy. The reason for celebrating Bar/Bat Mitzvah in the synagogue is to publicly demonstrate to the community that the celebrant is ready and capable to accept the responsibilities and privileges associated with Jewish adulthood.
I am well over 13; can I still have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah?
First of all, read the answer to the above question. Most importantly, Judaism teaches that learning is a lifelong process. Now is always the best time to acquire a new skill that will strengthen your connection to your heritage or formally demonstrate your willingness to accept a new Mitzvah (Divine Commandment.) Many women who were once excluded from fully participating can now take advantage of the opportunity to aquire the skills they want to have. Also, people with developmental differences who were in the past not given the opportunity to have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah service can now, in many cases, find a meaningful way to do so.
CyBarMitzvah is an excellent method for learning to read Torah. Your first step will be to study the cantillation (Trope) through our interactive materials. After only a few lessons, you will be ready to learn a text. We will find an appropriate text for you and discover how to prepare the text so you can comfortably read from the Torah. I will send you printable copies of the text you are working on and either an interactive video version or an mp3 audio file you can carry with you. At the end you will have not just learned a Torah portion; you will have acquired the skill of Torah reading.
I want to learn to chant a Haftara but I don’t want to have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, is this possible?
Sure. Haftara is a portion from the Books of the Prophets, the second section of the Hebrew Bible. A Haftara is included in all Shabbat and Festival services as well as in services for some other special occasions whether or not there is a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Thus there are many opportunities throughout the year to chant a Haftara and CyBarMitzvah is an excellent way to acquire the skill of Haftara chanting. The process is similar the process for learning Torah reading described above.
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