B’nei Mitzvah

Bnei Mitzvah Programme for Years 6, 7 & 8

When a child reaches the date of their 13th birthday in the Jewish calendar they become Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah, which means they are obligated to take on the mitzvot of being an adult. Traditionally this is marked by offering the Bar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah an Aliyah - the opportunity to recite the blessings and read from the Torahscroll in a Shabbat morning service. FRS believes very strongly that the process of theBar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah is much more important than the performance and this process includes peer-led teaching on a Friday afternoon (Friday Group) and Tuesday Afternoon Programme (TAP).

All pupils are seen in the light of what they can achieve – we pride ourselves on being able to take all special needs of our pupils into account in order to create a meaningful process for every pupil, whatever their ability and personal circumstances.

Our programme for years 6 to 8 is designed to prepare young people at FRS for b'nei mitzvah, giving them the experiences, friendships and knowledge they need to thrive as Jewish young adults. Run by our clergy and education teams, the programme aims to enable young people to take ownership of their Judaism and to build connections to FRS, to their peers and the clergy. The Hebrew programme ensures that everyone has the skills and comfort level with Hebrew to access the siddur (prayer book) and learn to read their Torah portion.

Year 6

The year 6 programme consists of monthly immersive educational family outings as well as chavurah suppers and other social events. We'll learn about Jewish History in the East End, ask big questions about religion and science in the Science Museum, and explore art, music, culture and society at different sites across London. Our aim is that year 6 children and their families will get to know each other better, and will feel empowered to explore their Judaism together.

Years 7 and 8

Year 7 and 8 students learn in our Tuesday Afternoon Programme (TAP). A hybrid learning and social environment, it is designed with the individual journeys of FRS young people in mind.

Year 7 is a two part programme. From September to February we learn about prayer, philosophy, and big Jewish questions in a creative and informal environment. Those year 7s who are involved in ongoing Jewish learning elsewhere such as at a Jewish school can speak to our professional or clergy team about an alternative project they can do during this time if they prefer. From February to July, year 7s work on their mitzvah projects. They meet and learn from different people at FRS who are engaged in social justice work, and develop and carry out their own mitzvah projects with the help of our education team.

Year 8 tackles big social and ethical issues through a Jewish lens. Year 8s meet weekly at FRS, processing and discussing their own Bnei Mitzvah journeys and providing a supportive community for each other as they go through the BM programme. Year 8 ends with a celebration event once everyone has had their Bar or Bat Mitzvah


Hebrew runs as a vertical strand throughout the year 6-8 programme. In year 6 we offer the option of either weekly Hebrew sessions in the summer term (on Tuesday afternoons), or a crash course at the end of the summer to ensure that everyone has the necessary Hebrew skills to start learning their Torah portion in Friday Group. In year 7, new Friday Group starters take part in a further Hebrew programme and continue learning in year 7 and 8 as they learn their Torah portion, learn to leyn and then train to be helpers for other young people.


Friday Group (starting approximately a year before a Bar/Bat Mitzvah)

B’nei Mitzvah students at FRS learn in a dynamic and exciting peer-led programme called Friday Group. They meet weekly one-on-one with their helper (a young person who has recently been through the process themselves) and learn the prayers, blessings and Torah readings which they will read on their Bar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah, also giving them the skills to lead services in the future.

It is possible to download the following audio clips and save them on a computer or transfer them to a mobile device. Click on the download link and then, depending on your internet browser, either a new window will open and you can right click on this to save the audio or a window will be presented offering the option to save the clip.

Blessing before Torah - BM Melody

Blessing after Torah - BM melody

Blessing before Haftarah

Blessing after Haftarah

The Haftarah reading follows the Torah reading on each Sabbath and on Jewish festivals and fast days


Friday night candles and Kiddush

The blessing for lighting the Shabbat candles can be found in the siddur on page 447

Blessing for candles - spoken and sung

Two candles or more are lit on Friday evening

The Kiddush for Friday night can be found in the siddur on page 452.

Kiddush for Friday night

Kiddush, literally, "sanctification," is a blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify the Shabbat

The blessing for bread can be found in the siddur on page 453.

Blessing for bread - spoken and sung

Challah is a special braided bread eaten, on the Sabbath and holidays.