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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  29
    Annual Meeting
    Wednesday, May 29th 7:30p to 9:00p


  • Sunday
    Jun  2
    "Mag" B'Omer End of Year Picnic
    Sunday, Jun 2nd 11:30a to 1:00p
    Join the Hill Havurah religious school families and larger community for an end of year/Mag* B'omer picnic with food, field games, and fun! *The holiday is really called Lag B'Omer, lag representing the number 33 in Hebrew because it falls on the 33rd day of the Omer (the period of 49 days between Passover and Shavuot) but since this celebration will be on the 43rd day of the Omer, we're calling it "Mag B'Omer" which means 43!


  • Saturday
    Jun  8
    Shabbat Morning Service - Chizuk
    Shabbat, Jun 8th 10:00a to 12:00p
    Join us for a special Shabbat morning service led by and honoring our 10th grade students who have completed the Chizuk program. More information on the Chizuk program: While Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies mark a young person’s entry into Jewish adulthood, Tenth Grade Chizuk provides high school-aged teens with the opportunity to confirm their place in the Jewish community, and to commit themselves to Jewish learning and Jewish life. Confirmation around age sixteen first became a Jewish tradition in the Reform Movement in the 1800s, when the movement questioned a child’s ability to commit to a tradition at the young age of thirteen. Now, many Jewish communities mark intention with B’nai Mitzvah and commitment with this tradition, around the time of Shavu’ot -- the holiday which marks our receiving and assenting to the Torah as a people at Sinai. Our teens have chosen to name the process Chizuk, or Strengthening, since through this process they are strengthening their already strong Jewish identities and commitments.


  • Sunday
    Jun  9
    Shavuot Dinner and Wine Tasting
    Sunday, Jun 9th 6:00p to 8:00p
    Dairy dinner, with special wine tasting led by community member Gabor Banfalvi of Taste Hungary. Sunday, June 9, 6:00-8:00 pm in the Parish Hall, 212 East Capitol Street, NE. Limited number of seats available. Shavu’ot is the day when we celebrate receiving the Torah, and it’s also one of our harvest festivals. We’ll have a traditional dairy dinner together, hear and sing a few songs for the holiday, and then learn from Gabor Banfalvi about different wines to celebrate the harvest element of the day.


  • Saturday
    Jun  15
    Shabubbles & Brunch: Tot Shabbat service with PJ Library
    Shabbat, Jun 15th 10:00a to 12:00p
    Join us in Lincoln Park for a special Tot Shabbat service in conjunction with PJ Library!


  • Tuesday
    Jun  18
    Discussion Group on Anti-Semitism and Racism
    Tuesday, Jun 18th 7:30p to 9:00p
    Registration required.


  • Friday
    Jun  21
    Pizza Shabbat and Sing along
    Friday, Jun 21st 6:00p to 7:00p
    Join Rabbi Hannah for Pizza and a shabbat sing-along


  • Friday
    Jun  21
    Kabbalat Shabbat and Potluck Dinner
    Friday, Jun 21st 7:00p to 9:00p
    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
    Jul  6
    Torah Study (with coffee!)
    Shabbat, Jul 6th 9:00a to 10:00a
    Torah Study (with coffee!)


  • Saturday
    Jul  6
    Shabbat Morning Service
    Shabbat, Jul 6th 10:00a to 12:00p
    Join Rabbi Hannah as she leads our short and accessible Shabbat morning service followed by a light kiddush.



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 at the following link:

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

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 Alan Shusterman at



Tuition for the B’nai Mitzvah program is $2200 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.

Assistance: Hill Havurah is an inclusive, welcoming community and we work to make our programs accessible regardless of financial circumstances. For those who need assistance, please contact



Sat, May 25 2019 20 Iyar 5779