Message from Carmit Vereyenne & Tal Slome – Religion School Beit Emanuel’s Bnei Mitzvah/religion school program has been active since the first Bar Mitzvah was held in the 1950s. In order to qualify for Bat/Bar Mitzvah, students are expected to complete a minimum of two years in the program. We meet on Monday afternoon from 16:00-18:30 and on Saturday mornings each week. During our Monday classes we split into two groups, depending on each student’s knowledge of Hebrew. We learn basic Hebrew to help the students read and understand the Siddur for their general knowledge and of course for their own Bat/Bar Mitzvah. During Monday’s classes we also explore Jewish Life Cycles, Chagim and traditions, Midrashim and more. The Bnei Mitzvah are also taught by Rabbi Sa’ar, who brings along his guitar and engages the students in meaningful songs, discussions and reflections on Jewish customs and values. During the sessions the students have a break to recharge and to socialise with each other in a fun manner. On Saturdays, the Bnei Mitzvah students begin by attending the service. Once the Torah reading begins, the class leaves and discusses the week, as well as reading a Torah story. One or a couple of the students often do the brachot after the service. Our current Bnei Mitzvah group is inquisitive, engaged, fun and committed to preparing for their Bat/Bar Mitzvah. We have 9 boys and 1 girl (!) from both Jewish and non Jewish schools, ranging from the ages of 10-12. If you would like to see what we get up to, please check out the Beit Emanuel Facebook page where we regularly post photos of our activities, excursions and learning.