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B’nai Mitzvah Preparation / Madregot Program For Grades 6-7


The Congregation has articulated, over the years, a set of expectations for those students who are approaching Bar/Bat Mitzvah. The formal implementation of these ideas has been modified in response to the innovation of our educational programs and priority to have children of Rodef Shalom families engaged in their Jewish education. The following information, therefore, reflects the spirit of what is desirable in the way of pre-requisites, as well as practical format into which that spirit has been placed.


  • As a pre-requisite for a Shabbat Morning Bar/Bat Mitzvah date, we expect our children to have completed, by their seventh-grade year, at least five years in a recognized program of Jewish education.
  • In Denver, the recognized programs are Passport to Jewish Learning (our religious school program) or Denver Jewish Day School (our community Jewish day school). Attendance in other comparable programs is considered for recognition on an individual basis. 
  • During 5th Grade, families will have an individual conference with the Rabbi to evaluate the student's Judaic knowledge and Hebrew skills, and discuss plans for the scheduling of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah date, which will be arranged to occur sometime during the Grade 7 year.


Grade 6 is the formal commencement of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah training process. Students in this educational year will be expected to participate in two complimentary venues: a monthly class called "Madregot," which is taught by the Rabbi and attendance at Rodef Shalom Shabbat Service twice per month. These activities will serve to (a) solidify the sense of community that has been forming during previous years of Shabbat School attendance, (b) instill a context for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah training that considers both history and ethics, and (c) familiarize the student with the Shabbat and weekday morning services, including tallit and tefillin, and the overall synagogue environment. 

Sometime in the course of Grade 6, each student will initiate a relationship with a private tutor with whom he/she will meet weekly in order to train in the skills of Torah reading, Haftarah reading, and leading Services.  The Rabbi maintains an updated list of recommended tutors, which is presented to each family at the time of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date confirmation.  Families may petition to engage alternate instructors, as well.  All instructors are expected to train the child in a fashion that will enable further participation beyond the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date.

Students continue to attend Madregot programs throughout Grade 7 and, as they approach their individual dates of celebration, the Rabbi will schedule their participation in leading a small portion of the Shabbat Morning Service so that they might become acclimated to dynamics of the bimah.  In addition, a series of rehearsals will be scheduled by the private tutor so that the student might practice reading from the appropriate Torah scroll and become familiarized with the choreography of the leadership spaces.



Rodef Shalom's program for students entering grades 6 and 7 this coming school year is called the "Madregot" (Ascending Steps) Program.  This is our congregation's home-grown approach to the inclusion of all - regardless of their Jewish education background - in the life of our community at precisely the time that they are approaching their age of wider participation.  It includes two monthly sessions.  One is a learning session under the direction of the Rabbi (usually on the first weekend) and the other is a Sunday Action module (usually the third weekend of the month) under the direction of Dawn Spector, our Youth Education Director.  The latter module includes our Passport to Jewish Learning participants in Grades 1-5.  By integrating our middle school students with the younger population once per month, we aim to provide some opportunity for role modeling and leadership.  Both components encourage the participation of the entire family for most of the programming.

Beyond these events, we offer a weekly, one-hour Tefillah Skills Class on Wednesday afternoons, for the purpose of Hebrew reading practice and prayer skills reinforcement.  While we anticipate that this will be of more immediate interest to our non-Day School families, everyone is welcome to participate.

Finally, all of our Madregot students will be expected to start attending Shabbat Morning Services, on Saturday mornings from 10:00 a.m. until the end of the Service, in order to observe and acclimate to the tunes and choreography.  This attendance can be done throughout the sixth and seventh-grade years until a total of 18 dates have been achieved.

We realize that schedules get very busy in certain seasons, so we welcome participation whenever it is compatible with the household calendar, and empower each family to uphold a responsible standard of participation.

For more information, contact Rabbi Kobrin at

If you are interested in registering your child(ren), please contact Dawn Spector at Dawn.Spector@  Registration Forms can be accessed in the Downloads box above.




Wed, August 15 2018 4 Elul 5778