Here are some frequently asked questions that might help in your planning process:
1) Will my child have a dress rehearsal for the service?
Yes, we will reach out at least 1 month in advance to schedule a rehearsal for your child. You will rehearse in the same space that you will be celebrating in (so if you plan to be at home, your rehearsal will be at your home and if you plan to be here in the building, your rehearsal will be at the synagogue.) At the rehearsal, your child and everyone who will be participating in the service actively (who has an Aliyah or will be reading something) will have the chance to practice and we’ll troubleshoot any technological challenges.
2) Is there a way for our family to take pictures in the synagogue?
Yes! Let Erin know that you would like to take pictures and she will work with you and with your photographer to schedule a time that you can be in the building.
3) I know that my child has been doing tutoring and has worked with a rabbi on their dvar Torah. Is there anything else we should be aware of in these weeks leading up to their bnei mitzvah?
The week before the bnei mitzvah, we will have a meeting with the rabbis on Wednesday afternoon. This is a time for us to talk about the qualities you love most about your child, about the process of preparing and what you’re looking forward to, about your favorite family stories about your child and about their hopes for the future. We ask that you fill out some forms in advance that help to facilitate this conversation, and otherwise it’s a sweet sharing and preparation for the simcha.
4) Will we have to wear masks if we are celebrating in the building?
When you are in your celebration room (Reisman Hall or the Gann Chapel), you will not need to wear a mask. If you leave that room to go to the restroom, or when you enter or leave the building you will need to wear a mask.
5) My child has been preparing for their Torah portion using their printed materials (with vowels and coloring). Will my child be able to use the same in the synagogue or at home as opposed to reading from the Torah (which I’m not sure they’re prepared for….)?
We want to support your child in having the best experience they can at their bnei mitzvah celebration. While we will give every child the opportunity to practice reading from the Torah scroll, if reading from the scroll will cause undue stress, your child can read from their learning materials.
6) Will my child’s tutor be able to attend the ceremony with the immediate family, to support our child?
Yes, tutors are provided with the ZOOM link and will be able to celebrate with you virtually. (Due to COVID precautions, tutors are not able to be in the same physical room, but participating on the ZOOM allows them to send private messages to your family and has been a wonderful support for our children throughout the pandemic.
7) If we celebrate at home, will we be able to borrow a Torah?
Yes! If you choose to celebrate at home, you will have a whole list of resources you can borrow including a Torah.
8) What link should I share with my guests so they can participate in the service?
All guests should participate via our Rabbi Samuel Chiel Sanctuary Live Stream Viewer
9) I’m trying to figure out honors—can family members in different geographical locations share the same Aliyah?
Yes, we can have up to three screens sharing an Aliyah. Feel free to invite multiple relatives to participate!
10) I would like to host a Zoom Kiddush for my family after services, but don’t have a ZOOM account. Is this something the synagogue could help with?
Absolutely! We are happy to set up a link for you and you can have as many as 500 guests for as long as you would like that day to celebrate. Just let us know and we’ll set this up and send you the link!
11) I’m still dreaming of having a party when COVID 19 is no longer a threat. What will the process be for rescheduling our celebration?
Absolutely! We can’t wait to celebrate with you when it is safe to do so! You can reach out now, to our Event and Logistics Manager, Katelyn Bellina to explore available dates and hold a date, for no charge now or we can work together at a later date to schedule and help plan a wonderful celebration for your family.
12) If I have questions about the bnei mitzvah process, who should I be in touch with?