Seekers for grades 6-7 (B Mitzvah cohort) meets on Thursday afternoons from 4-6 PM at the Romemu offices at 43 Central Park North (between Lenox Ave. and 5th Ave.). Students may arrive as early as 3:30 PM.
6th and 7th graders are also required to attend Seekers Shabbat, which takes place approximately twice every month.
One year prior to each child’s B Mitzvah, 6th and 7th graders begin attending individualized weekly training on Monday afternoons from 4-5:30 PM with Romemu clergy (in addition to weekly Thursday programming).
B Mitzvah preparation is an integral part of the educational journey in our Seekers program. The journey to your child’s B Mitzvah is a way to sanctify and celebrate time, and we invite the whole family to prepare together for this spiritual, intellectual, and emotional milestone.
B Mitzvah in the context of classic Jewish tradition defines the moment when a child reaches the age of obligation. They are obligated to fulfill the mitzvot (commandments) and they are counted in a minyan (a Jewish prayer quorum). At Romemu, we understand these concepts in their broadest terms. A B Mitzvah is a moment in the human journey when a person becomes both counted and accountable – in one’s family, community, and society at large. We aim to deepen the process of that move toward responsibility and independence through reflection, study, and ultimately, celebration. We offer a program of study and exploration that is specifically tailored to your family and the strengths and talents of your child as they navigate their way through the B Mitzvah journey.
Students learn skills including reading Hebrew, chanting Torah, and leading prayers, in addition to studying themes appropriate to becoming a mature member of their families and communities and living a joyous, mitzvah-centered life. Students will explore issues such as identity, responsibility, community, society, ethics, obligation, fairness, honesty, justice, and more.
We will provide resources as needed for the B Mitzvah student to develop a relevant and meaningful project with an aligned organization.
As part of their training, B Mitzvah students lead parts of Saturday morning services along with Romemu clergy.
Seekers families gather approximately twice each month for community building, learning, and a celebratory meal.
Students explore connections between traditional commentaries and their unique voice and life experiences. They have an option to develop other forms of expression as well – using creative, musical, or dramatic interpretations of the Torah.
On the day of their B Mitzvah, students chant two or more sections of the triennial Torah portion.
B Mitzvah ceremonies take place at Romemu Shabbat morning services in the main sanctuary of West End Presbyterian Church. B Mitzvah families can choose to sponsor a kiddush after services to celebrate with family and friends. Families also have the option of hiring musicians (at an extra cost) for the kiddush, which provides a celebratory spirit for the occasion.
The New York Times – March 27, 2019