A word about “bet mitzvah”:
Last spring, following careful study, the Central Conference of American Rabbis issued a recommendation that Reform communities use the term “Bet Mitzvah.” Bet is the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet and does not have a gendered connotation. It stands for Bar, Bat, or B’Mitzvah at the same time and provides our children and their families with the flexibility not to share more of their gender identities than they would like to at their Jewish coming-of-age ceremonies. Bet also references the Hebrew word for “home,” so that the term Bet Mitzvah references the “Home of Mitzvah.”   

Bet mitzvah at East End Temple:
At East End Temple, we view bet mitzvah in the greater context of one’s Jewish life and Jewish education. Rather than approaching this as an ending point of learning, it as a significant marker in the education and Jewish life of our students. The emphasis of the experience is put on the learning process, on the weekly accomplishments of the students, on their pride in working diligently and thoughtfully on learning prayers, blessings, Torah and Haftarah portions as well as the d’var Torah.

This process is made richer and more meaningful by family participation and involvement. Studying the portion together helps to emphasize the value of lifelong learning and models to our students the true lessons and values within the Torah. We emphasize the excitement and pride each student feels in themselves as they progress, engaging in significant studies, confidently leading services, and reading from the Torah. In this way, it is the quality and experience of learning that each student undertakes, not only the service itself, that we celebrate on the day of the bet mitzvah.


  • Bet mitzvah is only open to members of East End Temple.
  • It is understood that all students who are becoming bet mitzvah at East End Temple are raised solely in the Jewish tradition.
  • Students are required to have three years of participation in the East End Temple religious school or its equivalent prior to becoming bet mitzvah, in addition to two years of bet mitzvah tutoring.
  • Students must fulfill all religious school requirements, including regular attendance, participation, and completion of work.
  • Note that students who join the religious school later than the 4th grade may require additional tutoring in Hebrew beyond that offered by the religious school.