B’nai Mitzvah Program


"The world stands on

three things – study,

worship, and acts of

loving kindness"

Shimon the Righteous

Pirkei Avot 1:2

  • Saturday
    Mar 31
    Community Seder 5778
    Shabbos, Mar 31st 5:45p to 9:00p
    Hill Havurah "Kosher-Style" Community Seder We will try and accommodate everyone, but Hill Havurah members will be given priority when making reservations.


  • Saturday
    Apr 7
    April Shabbat Morning Service
    Shabbos, Apr 7th 9:30a to 11:30a
    Join Rabbi Hannah as she leads our short and accessible Shabbat morning service followed by a light kiddush.


  • Tuesday
    Apr 10
    April Board Meeting
    Tuesday, Apr 10th 7:30p to 9:00p
    Monthly meeting of Hill Havurah's board.


  • Saturday
    Apr 14
    Torah Study (with coffee!)
    Shabbos, Apr 14th 8:30a to 9:30a
    Join us for a lively discussion on this week's Torah portion over coffee and some breakfast-y snacks! This is always held at a different location, please contact David Hoexter at djhoexter@hotmail.com to receive the location.


  • Saturday
    Apr 14
    April Tot Shabbat
    Shabbos, Apr 14th 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.


  • Saturday
    Apr 14
    Jewveniles - Havdalah at Lincoln Park
    Shabbos, Apr 14th 7:30p to 8:00p
    Join Rabbi Hannah Spiro and the seventh through tenth graders of Hill Havurah for some learning, some eating, and some fun! Contact irena.mehaffie@hillhavurah.org to RSVP or for more information.


  • Tuesday
    Apr 17
    Lunch and Learn
    Tuesday, Apr 17th 12:00p to 1:15p
    We welcome you to join us every third Tuesday of the month. We will be gathering at noon to treat our souls with a Torah study. Reformation, St. John's conference room. Please bring your own lunch and an open mind for an insightful lunch break! The bagels are on us!


  • Friday
    Apr 20
    April 2018 Pizza Shabbat and Sing along
    Friday, Apr 20th 6:00p to 7:00p
    Join Rabbi Hannah for Pizza and a shabbat sing-along


  • Friday
    Apr 20
    April Kabbalat Shabbat and Potluck Dinner
    Friday, Apr 20th 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
    Apr 21
    Family Service for 2nd-6th Grade 04.21.18
    Shabbos, Apr 21st 10:00a to 11:45a
    Join the Hill Havurah as we celebrate Shabbat at our special family services, created for (and, in part, by) children and families from the Hill Havurah’s Yavneh, Pre-Yavneh and Gan Shalom! We would love full participation from each Yavneh class that is co-leading, and we’ll have an optional catered meal after each service. We can’t wait to celebrate Shabbat together with singing, conversation, and yummy food!



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; a Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony can happen later, in high school, when a student is ready for it.

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 Rabbi Hannah 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.



Fri, March 23 2018 7 Nisan 5778