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Bar / Bat Mitzvah Individual Program

Bar Mitzvah & Bat Mitzvah ceremonies in Boulder CO - destination rabbi

Individual Bar and Bat Mitzvah Program:
10 Months

The Adventure Rabbi Individual Study or Destination Bar and Bat Mitzvah Program is a Great Alternative for:

  • Bar and Bat Mitzvah students who live anywhere
    Distance learning via Skype and GoToMeeting is available
  • Bar and Bat Mitzvah students who are too busy for set class times
  • Bar and Bat Mitzvah students with any level (even none or years and years) of Jewish background
  • Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies in Israel
  • Students who would rather be indoors than out on group hikes
  • Students who thrive having one-on-one adult attention and enjoy having lots of time to ask questions
  • Students who prefer individual activities rather than social situations

For Fee Schedule or if you are ready to register click here>>

Destination Bat Mitzvah & Bar Mitzvah in ColoradoHow the program works:

You will have individual monthly meetings, either online or in person with one of these instructors: Rabbi Stacy Bergman (Armonk, NY) Rabbi Evon Yakar (South Lake Tahoe, CA) Educator Janiece Gratch (Oklahoma City, OK), Educator Elaine Barenblat Boulder, CO) or Educator David Spiegler (W. Arvada, CO.)

You will also need weekly meetings with a Hebrew tutor. Rabbi Stacy, Janiece, David and Elaine all offer Hebrew lessons, so, except for students working with Rabbi Evon, you can have all your lessons with the same person.

During these lessons you will learn about Jewish Values such as Taking Care of the Earth, Creating Peace at Home, Respecting Mother and Father, Remembering Shabbat and Taking Care of Animals. You will learn how ancient Jewish wisdom can make your teenage years less turbulent, as you develop the skills of compassion, courage and confidence.

You will complete a 10-hour social action project, a Shabbat project, and finally you will synthesize what you learned into speeches to share with your community at your service.

Meanwhile, with your weekly Hebrew tutor, you will learn Hebrew prayers, and how to chant Torah.

Then you will have a ceremony in front of your family and friends on the date and at the venue of your choosing.

What families say about this experience:

"Jake has said several times throughout the past year that his Bar Mitzvah experience was the best time of his life (his life is pretty good on a day to day basis and he knows it). He so appreciated the whole process, working with you, and the surrounding beauty of nature during the service. It was incredibly special and affected everyone involved. Our older son would have liked to do the same had we known about the program 3 years earlier.- Lauri Streeck

About Janiece Gratch:Janiece Gratch - Hebrew Tutor
Janiece has tutored over seventy students. Kids, and their i parents love her. Even years after their ceremonies students speak excitedly about how fun and achievable Janiece made the process

Janiece Gratch lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and works with students all over the world via Skype. She knows how to connect! Read more about Janiece>>

About Elaine Barenblat: 
Elaine Barenblat is our Director of Education. She is a beloved teacher who makes learnin
g fun and meaningful. In the last few years students have become so attached to her, they have asked for her to officiate at their ceremonies. Elaine is the co-author of the curriculum with Rabbi Jamie Korngold.

About David Spiegler: 
Kids love David! David has tutored Hebrew for us for many years and we are thrilled that he now offers lessons in our Individual Bar and Bat Mitzvah curriculum. David works well with all types of learners. His backgrounds as a child psychologist serves him well in his role as a teacher of 12-year olds! His students always get there work done, quickly and completely and enjoy the process.
Read more about David Spiegler here>>
David Spiegler - Hebrew Tutor

About Rabbi Evon Yakar:Evon yakar
Rabbi Evon, Adventure Rabbi, comes to us via Skype from South Lake Tahoe, California. He specializes in youth education and is an expert at making Judaism relevant and meaningful to 12 and 13 year olds.

He is passionate about sharing Judaism with his students and loves the opportunity to personalize the program according to the interests of each of his students.

Rabbi Evon will only work with students willing to have their ceremony in Lake Tahoe.


Parent Involvement:
We recommend that you listen in whenever possible so that you will feel part of the process. But if it does not work well for the for parent or the student, do try to check in now and then. For online learning, we do ask that an adult be present in the house and checking in occasionally. We hope that after the meetings ends, your family will continue to explore the topics that have been raised, thus making this a family experience.

What Hebrew prayers will the Bar or Bat Mitzvah student learn?
Our emphasis is on prayers we think every Jew should know for general Jewish living. Among other prayers such as Barchu, Shema and V'ahavtah, you will learn the full Friday night Kiddush, Kaddish (seldom taught to Bar and Bat Mitzvah kids but probably the most widely needed Jewish prayer). Students should be prepared for a serious year of Hebrew study and able to commit time to this aspect of the program. Most students meet with their tutor once a week for 12-18 months. View videos of the prayers here>>

Required Prayers for all Students:
Tallit Blessing
Candle Blessing
Full Friday Night Kiddush
Preface to Amidah
Shema with Echad Eloheinu
Blessings before and after Torah Reading
Mourner's Kaddish

How about Torah?
Most of our students chant or read 6 verses of Torah. But students with severe learning limitations have read as little as three. We ask for equal effort, not equal product, so some read more and others less. You will be reading from our Backpacking Torah.

What are the Hebrew requirements to get into the program?
Many of our students have no Hebrew background while others have been attending Jewish Day School for years. Either way, because this is an individual program, we can make it work and we will create a program that is appropriately challenging.

How will the Bar or Bat Mitzvah student learn their Hebrew?
Each student works with a private Hebrew tutor. Fees for this are not including in the basic program fee. Most students meet with their tutor once a week for 18 months. Occasionally students require 2 times a week, and others only occasional meetings. We recommend working with our in-house educator either in person or over the internet because she will be able to insure your student's progress. More>>

What does Social Action have to do with Bar or Bat Mitzvah?
Becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah means becoming a more responsible member of the Jewish community. One of the values of our Jewish community is that as Jews, we have a mandate to help make the world a better place. Therefore, as you take on your new role in our community you will demonstrate your concern and connection through a social action (tikkun olam) project.

How many hours of work should I plan on?
You will complete 10 hours of work and then write a speech explaining what you did, why you chose it and what you got out of it.

What kinds of project do we do?
We prefer projects that allow Bar and Bat Mitzvah students to interact with other people, animals or nature and enable students to build relationships. We prefer that you stay always from fund raisers.

Examples of Past Projects:

  • Trail work (Durango, CO)
  • Graffiti Removal (New York City)
  • Building Homes (New Orleans)
  • Organizing a Neighborhood Park Clean-up (Denver, CO)
  • Helping Prepare Meals for Koko the Signing Gorilla (California)

Shabbat Projects:
A note from Rabbi Korngold, the Adventure Rabbi:

My not so secret agenda is to introduce the Bar and Bat Mitzvah students and their families to Shabbat as meaningful part of life. Our lives are so frenetic! One of the greatest gifts Judaism has given us is the mandate to take a day off every week. I hope that when the kids are in college and are overwhelmed with life, they will look back at this year and think, "Oh Shabbat. Maybe that can help." To that end, my goal is to introduce them to a Shabbat practice that fits into their lifestyle and can enhance their lives.

How does it work?
Twice a month for ten months you will pick some type of Shabbat observance to try out. You can try traditional activities like lighting candles, baking challah or going to synagogue. But you can also explore be non-traditional activities like going skiing with your family but not complaining, eating ice cream for breakfast, or making dinner for you family. You will journal what you did and how it worked for you. You will also discuss with the Rabbi how these bat mitzvah ceremonyShabbat experiences were for you and your family.

The Ceremony:

Where is the ceremony?
You are able to pick the venue that works for your family and friends. For some locations we know work well, see>>

The Rabbi or Elaine will arrive at your ceremony with the Torah and prayerbooks. To help you plan for the service we have great resources posted such as:

  • The Bar or Bat Mitzvah student's large print version of the service. Click Here>>
  • The guests booklet format version of the service (same content, different format) Click Here>>
  • A diagram of how to set up the service venue Click Here>>
  • The honors you will be able to give out to guests Click Here>>
  • A list of items you will need to bring to the service
    Find This All Here>>

Who officiates at the ceremony?
Rabbi Jamie Korngold or Elaine Barenblat generally officiate at the ceremonies of their students. Rabbi Evon Yakar will officiate at cermeonies in Lake Tahoe.

How will we plan it?
A month or two before the ceremony you will have two meetings with the officiating rabbi to plan and rehearse the ceremony.

Do we get to personalize the ceremony?
Yes! We can include as many of your guests as you would like. You can even write your own prayerbook, although most families opt to use our Adventure Rabbi nature-based prayerbook.

What is the fee for an Individual Bar or Bat Mitzvah?
Fees are based on which rabbi officiates at the ceremony, and the location of the ceremony. For example, a ceremony in Israel is more expensive than one in Lake Tahoe, California. For a list of our fee schedule, please click here >>

How Do I Sign Up For An Individual Bar or Bat Mitzvah?
You can sign up online here >>

Adventure Bar & Bat Mitzvah (Individual):
Resources & Information

Sign up for an Individual Bar or Bat Mitzvah - Click Here >>

Fee Schedule:
Click Here>>

Hebrew Tutors:

Click Here >>

Learning Resources:

Please note: Word Documents may open in your Browser's Downloads Folder.

Ceremony Information:



Bar Mitzvah Rabbi for destination eventDoes it have to be outside? As the Adventure Rabbi Program, we love hiking or skiing Bar or Bat Mitzvahs but we realize not every family can do that.
View Outdoor Bar Mitzvah One Minute Video >>

Or, view photos from a recent Skiing Bat Mitzvah at Copper Mountain >>

Can the Torah go outside? Because we use a paper Torah rather than a kosher parchment Torah (which might be damaged by the elements) our ceremonies can take place in any location, as accessible or adventurous as your family chooses.

What about having the Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony in locations other than Lake Tahoe, California?
Rabbi Evon is happy to officiate at ceremonies outside of South Lake Tahoe. Obviously it costs a bit more, because it takes more of the Rabbi's time. For prices>>

Other Commonly Asked Questions:
We have family members who can't hike, but we know a Bar or Bat Mitzvah that includes hiking with the Adventure Rabbi is an amazing and unique experience. Is there any way we can incorporate a little hiking?

We suggest adding a hiking Friday night service that includes a hike. That way even if your Saturday service can't be on the trail because not everyone is physically capable of hiking, at least a subset of the group can enjoy that amazing experience on Friday night. We have found that the cohesive feeling created in the smaller group rapidly spreads to the entire larger group.

Can we also add a short hiking piece on Saturday?
Some locations lend themselves easily to a hike preceding the main service. For example, if you have the service at Temple Bat Yam, on the summit of Flagstaff Mountain (Boulder, CO) or Chautauqua Community House (Boulder, CO) we can add a little hiking at beginning of the service that is very accessible. Those who can't hike can drive to the site and they will not miss too much.

How will we get to know Rabbi Korngold if we are studying with Rabbi Evon Yakar?
We encourage your family to participate in Adventure Rabbi events throughout the year so that you can build a relationship with Rabbi Korngold and our larger community. You will meet an amazing group of people, eager to find a meaningful way to experience their Judaism.

In order to facilitate this we will give your Bar or Bat Mitzvah student a free membership to the Adventure Rabbi Program, a $750 value.

We also recommend reading Rabbi Korngold's books to get a sense of who she is and how she works.

After reading through this information, if you feel an Adventure Rabbi Bar or Bat Mitzvah will be a good fit for your family, please either:


Which Program is right for you?

    OPTION 1:
    Individual Bar and Bat Mitzvah Program
    Option for Distance Learning and Destination Ceremonies
    (10 months, you pick the start date)
    On this page, read above
    Ready to register and sign click here>>

    OPTION 2:
    Adventure Bar and Bat Mitzvah Class, Boulder Colorado
    (10 months, August - May)
    Click here>>
    Ready to register and sign click here >>

    OPTION 3:
    Bar and Bat Yisrael, a less intensive coming of age program without Hebrew
    Option for Distance Learning
    (12 weeks)
    Click here >>
    Ready to register and sign click here >>

    OPTION 4:
    Israel Bar or Bat Mitzvah Ceremony
    >Adventure Rabbi bar or bat mitzvah training with Rabbi Evon Yakar during monthly Skype meetings or as part of the Adventure Class
    >Individual Hebrew tutoring with your own tutor
    >Unforgettable unique bar or bat mitzvah ceremony in Israel.
    Locations include the Robinson Arch at the Western Wall, the Ancient Synagogue in Ein Gedi and atop Masada

    More info click here>>

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Bar Mitzvah Class Trip
Distance Learning options - work with rabbis via Skype for your Bar and Bat Mitzvah
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Bar & Bat Mitzvah Options:

Individual Bar & Bat Mitzvah Program

OPTION 2: Adventure
Bar & Bat Mitzvah Class

OPTION 3: Bar & Bat Yisrael

OPTION 4: Bar Mitzvah in Israel or Bat Mitzvah in Israel

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Bar & Bat Mitzvah Options:

Individual Bar & Bat Mitzvah Program

OPTION 2: Adventure
Bar & Bat Mitzvah Class

OPTION 3: Bar & Bat Yisrael

OPTION 4: Summer Bar & Bat Mitzvah Expedition
OPTION 5: Bar Mitzvah in Israel or Bat Mitzvah in Israel
Bar Mitzvah & Bat Mitzvah
Photography >>
Bar & Bat Mitzvah Options:

Individual Bar & Bat Mitzvah Program

OPTION 2: Adventure
Bar & Bat Mitzvah Class

OPTION 3: Bar & Bat Yisrael

OPTION 4: Summer Bar & Bat Mitzvah Expedition
OPTION 5: Bar Mitzvah in Israel or Bat Mitzvah in Israel