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B'nai Mitzvah Information

Bar/Bat/Simcha Mitzvah is a special and memorable event for your whole family in our community.

The process of becoming Bar/Bat/Simcha Mitzvah begins when a child begins their religious education.  Our program emphasizes Jewish learning for Jewish living and so we guide our young people through a process that prepares them to become confident and competent members of the Jewish community with Jewish skills and life skills that will serve them and our community well

Getting Ready

  • B’nai Mitzvah dates are generally assigned to students in the fall of the 5th grade based on the student’s date of birth and family requests.
  • Our 6th grade students and their parents participate in the B’nai Mitzvah seminar on select Sunday mornings during the 6th grade year.
  • Students begin individual tutoring sessions with our B’nai Mitzvah tutor approximately six months in advance of their Bar/Bat/Simcha Mitzvah. Those sessions are typically once a week for 30 minutes.
  • During those six months students also study with a mentor, an adult in our community who is trained to guide each child through his/her/their parasha (portion) in English to ensure each student’s deeper understanding of the text.
  • Students also determine a mitzvah initiative. Engagement in this initiative is an integral part of the process of becoming Bar/Bat/Simcha Mitzvah.
  • Approximately two months prior to their Bar/Bat/Simcha Mitzvah, students begin meeting individually with Rabbi to discuss their understanding of their Torah portion and to prepare a thoughtful D’var Torah. The purpose of this address is twofold:  first, for the student to express some of his/her/their feelings on the occasion; and second, for the student to relate a lesson from the Torah or Haftarah portion of the day to current life.


Most of our families host a celebration in our Social Hall and our TBI Catering Committee is ready and waiting to help you make this simcha a beautiful and joyous celebration. For more information contact the Temple office.


B'nai Mitzvah Handbook

D'var Torah Guidelines


TBI School Library

General School Information

School Overview:

Temple Beth Israel offers a dynamic, structured program of Jewish learning for children from tots through high school. Our curriculum is dedicated to building community, developing an authentic Jewish identity and inspiring confidence in our students.  Our school is committed to diversity and inclusivity and our students are inspired to learn and have conversations about Jewish tradition in a safe and pluralistic space.

Sunday School:

Starting with our parent-tot class and continuing through 8th grade, we offer a rich, varied and engaging Sunday morning educational program that uses music, art, and technology.

In addition to these dynamic curriculums:

Our 6th and 7th grade programs add the component of B’nai Mitzvah preparation.

Our 8th and 9th grade Gesher program creates a bridge from childhood to adult learning.  Co-produced with The Response Center, we offer a two-year curriculum that provides a safe discussion in a Jewish context of subjects both challenging and relevant to our students, including stress management, sex education, healthy relationships, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and more.

Our high school students (10th-12th grades) meet monthly with our Rabbi to discuss current events and topics of interest to young adults through a Jewish lens. These meetings are held in the rabbi’s study and are open to all high school students.

Also, many Temple Beth Israel students serve as Machoniks (teachers’ aides) beginning in 8th grade and throughout high school.  They serve as role models for our younger students and provide support to our faculty.  Monthly meetings provide leadership training, problem-solving skills, and classroom management.

We are always available to discuss any need for special accommodation.

School Schedule:

  • Parent-tot – 2nd grade meets Sundays 9:00 am – 11:00 am
  • 3rd – 7th grades meet Sundays 9:00 am – 12:10 pm & Wednesdays 4:15 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Gesher (8th & 9th grades) meets Sundays 11:10 am – 12:10 pm
  • High School (10th – 12th grades) meets monthly on Sunday 11:10 am – 12:10 pm

Hebrew Learning- Hebrew is the golden key to Jewish education (Chaim Nachman Bialik):

Beginning in 3rd grade our students attend class on Wednesday afternoons and Sunday mornings.  Our program expands to include modern Hebrew language.  We believe that the Hebrew language is an important gateway to Jewish culture and thought.  In addition to preparing our students for B’nai Mitzvah and to be competent participants in Jewish worship, we are deeply committed to teaching the modern Hebrew language.

YES Committee:

From organizing classroom social events to reminding parents of what comes next in the life of the congregation, the YES (Youth Education Services) Committee provides a value-added experience for parents with students in our school.

Youth Groups:

Our Youth Groups offer age-appropriate, informal opportunities to make friends, engage in Jewish life and have fun together.  Junior Youth Group brings together our students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades for social activities and projects that help to improve the world.  Senior Youth Group provides our high school students with leadership skills and a supportive community to grow and develop as responsible Jewish adults.  Emphasis is on service to the community while having fun together.


TBI is a long-time, strong supporter of Jewish summer camping, especially at Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute, the first camp of the Reform Movement. We believe that Jewish summer camp is a dynamic and important component of a complete Jewish education.  Many of our students attend OSRUI during the summer as campers and many Temple Beth Israel members are OSRUI staff, faculty and lay leadership. Our camp scholarship committee works hard to ensure that every child who desires will be able to have a great camp experience.

Send a Kid to Israel Partnership (SKIP):

As early adopters of this program through the Jewish United Fund (JUF) of Metropolitan Chicago, our congregation financially supports this savings program that begins when children are in 3rd grade.  With partnership from JUF and Temple Beth Israel, students will have over $2,000 by the end of 9th grade that can be used for an approved Israel trip during high school or college years.

Please feel free to read the Beit Midrash Policy Handbook for more detail.

Sat, April 20 2024 12 Nisan 5784