This in an example of a photo montage I created and later showed a party. The event was for a Bar Mitzvah in Agoura Hills, California. Becoming a bar/bat mitzvah is the beginning of participation in the adult Jewish world. In entering Jewish adulthood, the bar/bat mitzvah should prepare in 3 areas. Torah implies learning; avodah suggests deepening one's prayer and spiritual life and gemilut hasadim, often translated as "acts of loving kindness," points to repairing the world, both through direct service and volunteerism and through tzeddakah. Parents, the B'nai Mitzvah Coordinator, and the other clergy are all expected to help shape a student's program of preparation in these important areas:
1. Torah—Text Study: Whether or not the child offers a public dvar torah, it is important that the child experience Torah study. Studying their parsha with the clergy is a key facet of the bar/bat mitzvah experience.
2. Avodah—Spiritual Practice and Participation in Services: Reciting the Torah and Haftorah blessings and publicly chanting the Torah text are part of adult Jewish spiritual practice. Becoming a bar/bat mitzvah is a beginning, not an end in itself. As a mitzvah person, each student is encouraged to make a commitment to continued Jewish spiritual practice following the bar/bat mitzvah ceremony.
3. Gemilut Hasadim—Tikkun Olam Project: Each Bar/Bat Mitzvah student is expected to undertake a tikkun olam project. The project should be hands-on and developmentally appropriate so that the child is able to see a direct connection between his/her actions and the "repair" of one small corner of the world. Some students participate in group B’nai Mitzvah projects in the larger Jewish community. For more information on my video services, check out my web site: www,jamesvcosta.com.