The B’Mitzvah (in the commandment) year of study meets students at a challenging and powerful time of human development. Through the preparation for this ritual milestone, we ground students in Jewish community, ethics, and text, and lift them up toward a self that is confident, connected, and self-aware.
Our program pairs each student with an adult congregant as a mentor, enriching the child’s circle of adult support and offering a model of engaged Jewish adulthood. Together they study Jewish text and liturgy as each student learns, questions, and interprets for themselves Torah, Haftarah and the Shabbat morning service.
Students also practice Jewish ethics through our 13 Mitzvot program and lead multiple services with a congregant service leader prior to their B’Mitzvah. On the day of their B’Mitzvah celebration, students co-lead Shabbat services, chant from the Torah, read Haftarah, and offer a drash (sermon) teaching the text they have been studying.
The Madrichimot Program offers an opportunity to our post-B’Mitzvah students to remain involved in Beit Sefer by working in classrooms with teachers and students. They gain leadership skills and work experience while serving their Sha’ar Zahav community and acting as role models for the younger students.
Sha’ar Zahav holds monthly teen hangouts where teens connect for fun and community. Teens may hang at the synagogue, the beach, or a local park or may have an outing to go bowling, play mini-golf or do a scavenger hunt. Hangouts are staffed by our Teen Coordinator and co-created with the teens.
We thank San Francisco Humanities Inc. for their on-going generous support of our teen programs.
Learn More & Enroll
To learn more about B’Mitzvah or teen programs, contact Director of Education, Sue Bojdak.