Today is April 1, 2023 /
B’mitzvah* preparation policies
We are excited that your child is embarking on study for the b’mitzvah. To ensure good communication, appropriate training, and safety for both tutors and students, the board has developed the following policies:
Membership and Enrollment
All families of b’mitzvah students must be members in good standing at the time of the simcha. Students must be enrolled in Hebrew school during the Jewish year of their simcha. Once they become b’mitzvah, they are expected to continue attending Hebrew school with their classmates and/or join the Jew Crew.
Parents and tutors must maintain regular communication about when and where the sessions will take place. If a student does not show up for a scheduled session, parents must compensate the tutor nonetheless. If the tutor does not show up for a scheduled session, the tutor must provide the following session without compensation.
The current (2022) rate for a Dartmouth student tutor is $30 per hour; $35 for very experienced tutors. For first time high school student tutors, the rate is $20 per hour. Parents pay tutors directly, after each session, unless otherwise agreed upon (mutually) by parent and tutor. Families must be members in good standing within the Kol Ha’Emek community, including being up to date on Hebrew school tuition. After their simcha, students may switch to Jew Crew for remainder of the year with no additional cost.
Service attendance requirement
Parents and b’mitzvah students must attend a minimum of five morning services that include a torah reading, at the Roth Center, before becoming b’mitzvah. High holiday services may be counted in this number. This policy ensures that students are familiar and comfortable with how our congregation holds services before they are called to lead one. Parents are responsible for facilitating this attendance. We do not take attendance–you are on the honor system.
B’mitzvah students are required to invite everyone in the Hebrew school class to the b’mitzvah service. Barring serious scheduling conflicts, we expect all students in the b’mitzvah class to accept these invitations attend the services of their classmates as it is important to support each other and we have a tradition of the whole class helping to lead Adon Olam at the end of the service. It is expected (but not required) that all classmates are invited to any b’mitzvah party.
Monday-Friday 10AM-4:30 PM, there is staff present at the Roth Center and tutoring can be freely scheduled during these times. If tutoring takes place before or after those times, please check with the Education Director to see if a staff member is present. If so, the tutoring must take place near the staff member’s office–it is not the responsibility of the staff member to move locations. If not, a parent or representative of the parent must be present in the building, within earshot of the tutor and student, during the entire tutoring session.
Saturday and holiday (both religious and secular) tutoring:
There is no staff present on Saturdays or holidays, so a parent or representative of the parent must be present in the building, within earshot of the tutor and student, during the entire tutoring session.
School year tutoring taking place prior to 9:30 AM or after 1PM requires that a parent or representative of the parent be present in the building, within earshot of the tutor and student, during the entire tutoring session. Staff is sometimes present on Sunday before 9:30 and after 1PM but not consistently; if this time is scheduled, please check with the Education Director or the Rabbi to make certain one or the other will be present after school that day. In summertime, the policy is as above for Saturdays and holidays.
Areas to be used while tutoring:
Tutors and students may use the sanctuary, library, and classrooms but may never be left alone. There must always be an adult within earshot of tutors and students who are working together.
There is no fee charged by the rabbi, nor for any services performed by the director of education during this time. However, there are extra costs associated with the b’mitzvah concerning the building maintenance and many other details that will be handled for you. While every family circumstance is different, it is customary for families to make a donation to Kol Ha’Emek that reflects the significance of the b’mitzvah event. Guidance for the amount of this donation is a minimum of $400 per child, expected before the b’nai mitzvah.
We understand that there are many financial demands on families, and we will work with you to help ease this within our community, but we cannot do so if you don’t express concerns that you might have. Let us help in making the focus of this day be on the family, ritual, and meaning of the occasion rather than on financial matters.
Please see the B’mitzvah timeline page for additional policies.
*Note that we use the gender neutral term “b’mitzvah” here to be inclusive but we will use the terms bar and bat mitzvah for those who prefer that.
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Upper Valley Jewish Community
5 Occom Ridge, Hanover, NH 03755
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