B’nai Mitzvah Program


"The world stands on

three things – study,

worship, and acts of

loving kindness"

Shimon the Righteous

Pirkei Avot 1:2

All Events
  • Wednesday
    May 30
    Annual Meeting of Hill Havurah Membership
    Wednesday, May 30th 7:30p to 9:00p
    Annual Meeting of Hill Havurah Membership


  • Saturday
    Jun 2
    Torah Study (with coffee!)
    Shabbos, Jun 2nd 9:00a to 10:00a
    Torah Study (with coffee!)


  • Saturday
    Jun 2
    Shabbat Morning Service
    Shabbos, Jun 2nd 10:00a to 12:00p
    Join Rabbi Hannah as she leads our short and accessible Shabbat morning service followed by a light kiddush.


  • Sunday
    Jun 3
    Pre-Yavneh Informational Coffee Meeting
    Sunday, Jun 3rd 3:00p to 4:00p
    Join Rabbi Hannah for coffee, treats, and a chance to learn about Hill Havurah's Pre-Yavneh program. Pre-Yavneh is our Sunday morning Hebrew school for PreK-3 and PreK-4


  • Saturday
    Jun 9
    Tot Shabbat
    Shabbos, Jun 9th 10:00a to 11:00a
    Join Rabbi Hannah as she and lay-leaders incorporate music, story, and legendary “Torah Parades” to create a joyous Shabbat experience for toddlers and their parents.


  • Sunday
    Jun 10
    Community Forum with the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
    Sunday, Jun 10th 6:30p to 7:30p
    The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is doing a series of community forums as part of a strategic planning process and we want to make sure that our voices are heard! So we're going to host a forum for Havurah members and Hill Residents on the evening of June 10th at 6:30 PM in the Church of the Reformation Conference Room. The Jewish Federation is like the United Way of the Jewish Community, striving to create a vibrant and purposeful Jewish community through caring for those in need, deepening engagement in Jewish life and strengthening the bonds among Jews in the Washington area, in Israel and around the world. With a new CEO and a new Jewish community study that has revealed the ways in which our community continues to grow and evolve, Federation is working to identify our communal hopes, vision and aspirations. We hope you'll join us to enjoy a (kosher style) dinner while giving your feedback and speaking up for the Capitol Hill Jewish Community. Please register at https://www.shalomdc.org/communitystudy.


  • Friday
    Jun 15
    June Pizza Shabbat and Sing along
    Friday, Jun 15th 6:00p to 7:00p
    Join Rabbi Hannah for Pizza and a shabbat sing-along


  • Friday
    Jun 15
    Kabbalat Shabbat and Potluck Dinner
    Friday, Jun 15th 7:00p to 10:00p
    Join Rabbi Hannah as she leads us in welcoming Shabbat with a spirited service followed by a potluck. We supply the wine and drinks, congregants bring a dairy or vegetarian dish.


  • Saturday
    Jun 16
    Juneteenth Interfaith Gathering
    Shabbos, Jun 16th 12:30p to 2:00p
    Join Hill Havurah and Mount Moriah Baptist Church for a picnic on Saturday, June 16! We’re coming together to celebrate Juneteenth, the anniversary of when slavery officially ended in the United States. We’ll be gathering at 12:30 p.m. in Lincoln Park for food, fun, and a chance to explore social justice issues with other members of our community. We’ll provide the grilled food (including kosher and vegetarian options), but please bring a salad, side, dessert, or drinks to share. Limited seating will be available, so feel free to bring a picnic blanket or lawn chairs, too! If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Erdeich at serdreich@hotmail.com


  • Sunday
    Jun 17
    The 2018 Hill Havurah YACHAD Project
    Sunday, Jun 17th 12:00a to 4:00p
    Tikkun Olam On June 17th HH volunteers will descend on Ms. Delaney’s home at 210 Chesapeake Ave., SE and make much-needed repairs and upgrades on her family home. I hope 19 of you can join me and Larry Broun as we swing into action on Sunday, June 17 (which also happens to be Father’s Day). Please contact Sig Cohen at smceagle@aol.com to reserve your place on one of the two ten-person teams that will work from either 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM or from 12:00 Noon to 4:00 PM. Lunch and beverages will be provided.



The Hill Havurah B’nai Mitzvah program prepares our youth to assume their responsibilities as adult members of Hill Havurah and the larger Jewish community.  The Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony is the culmination of a course of Judaic study that for most Hill Havurah youth begins in either our Gan Shalom Cooperative Preschool or our Yavneh on the Hill Jewish Education Program.  We also hope that the Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony will mark the beginning of students’ adult Jewish education, formal and informal, beginning with Hill Havurah teen programming (with "the Jewveniles") and continuing through Confirmation at the end of the tenth grade.  The B'nai Mitzvah ceremony demonstrates a desire to live according to Jewish values and to find inspiration from the study of Torah, as well as an ability to actively participate in a Jewish worship service.  The B’nai Mitzvah is an early milestone in a lifelong process of defining a person’s identity as an American Jew in the 21st century.

Hill Havurah is an inclusive, independent Jewish community and seeks to support member families as they embark on a B’nai Mitzvah program.  Many Capitol Hill families have found that celebrating their child’s Bar and Bat Mitzvah with the Hill Havurah has been a powerful way to mark their child’s place in the community.  When a family is ready to begin the process of preparing to celebrate a young person becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah, they will first participate in a conversation with Rabbi Hannah, who will walk the family through the entire process.  Families should reach out to talk about the process by the beginning of a student’s sixth grade year. If a student gets a late start, however, that is not a problem; Rabbi Hannah is available to discuss enhanced preparations customized to the individuals’ need including a Hebrew tutor prior to beginning Bnai Mitzvah preparations.

Together with Rabbi Hannah, the student and family will embark on a Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation program that includes exploration of one’s Jewish cultural identity, liturgical knowledge, and Jewish values, as well as service to the community. The Hill Havurah B’nai Mitzvah Program is designed to encourage both the student becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah and his/her family to think more intentionally about what it means for them to be Jewish and how they want to express that Judaism in their lives now and in the future.

The Hill Havurah offers a program which combines communal study through participation in Yavneh classes and individual study through work with Rabbi Hannah.

  • The 6th grade class at Yavneh will be divided between the study of the Hebrew needed to participate in a Shabbat morning service, and the study of Judaics and Jewish identity formation.

  • Each student enrolled in the B’nai Mitzvah program will meet privately for one hour every one or two weeks with a tutor during the year before their B'nai Mitzvah ceremony for training in Torah reading and any other prayers the family has selected. Rabbi Hannah will also use this time to monitor and oversee the student’s progress on his/her Jewish study project and Mitzvah Project.​

  • Every Hill Havurah Bar or Bat Mitzvah must reflect the celebrant’s focus on three defining aspects of Jewish life and identity:

Torah: An understanding of Jewish culture and history. Hill Havurah sets no requirement for a family’s or youth’s level of religious observance, but a Hill Havurah Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony must include an expression of the meaning the young person has found from studying Torah, reflecting on Jewish values, and participating in Jewish culture and ritual practice.  Each Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidate will, with the assistance of Rabbi Hannah, research, write, and deliver a D'var Torah, Words of Torah, on their Torah and Haftarah (prophetic reading) portions as well as other Jewish ideas or values that are meaningful to the candidate.

Avodah: A connection with God or the spiritual dimension of life through participation in Jewish worship. A Hill Havurah Bar/Bat Mitzvah observance will include the calling of the young person to the Torah at a worship service. The young person will learn the blessings upon being called to the Torah, read from their Torah and Haftarah portions, and take an active role in leading other parts of the worship service. You can find recordings of many prayers from our Shabbat morning service here.

Gemilut Chasadim: Each young person preparing to celebrate becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah with the Hill Havurah will undertake a meaningful, hands-on, and ongoing volunteer commitment that serves the greater community.  Each student will, together with Rabbi Hannah, choose a Mitzvah Project that is meaningful to him/her.  Gemilut Chasadim, acts of loving kindness, will help the student reflect on his/her responsibility to others and other Jewish values. The B'nai Mitzvah candidate will include lessons learned from the volunteer experience as part of the talk he or she shares in the course of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony. Here are some ideas for you to consider. ​​​​​

Although every B’nai Mitzvah program will include all three of these aspects, students and families, in consultation with Rabbi Hannah, will choose how to incorporate them into an overall study program that reflects the student’s talents and interests.


Many of your B'nai Mitzvah questions are answered HERE.

To learn more about the program please contact rabbihannah@hillhavurah.org.

B'nai Mitzvah Resources

You can find a list of suppliers, venues, caterers and many more useful information HERE.  The list was created by our members for our members, so please feel free to share additional recommendations with Kfir Banin at Kfir.banin@hillhavurah.org.



Tuition for the B’nai Mitzvah program is $2000 per year for children who are also enrolled in Yavneh on the Hill as students, or who were enrolled in Yavneh as sixth grade students and currently serve as teaching aides in Yavneh.

Tuition for children who choose to enroll only in the B’nai Mitzvah program (and not in Yavneh) will be $2500 per year.

To register for the B’nai Mitzvah program, please click HERE.  You have to be logged in to our website, so if you’ve forgotten your password and need it reset, please let us know by emailing HERE.  If this is your first time registering with Hill Havurah, please set-up an account by clicking HERE.  You’ll get an email letting you know your account has been activated, after which you can begin registration.



Wed, May 23 2018 9 Sivan 5778