Bar/Bat Mitzvah Guide

Honors Policy

The following is Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek’s policy regarding honors on your child’s special day.

You will be given the following honors for your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah at a Shabbat morning Bar/Bat Mitzvah:

  • Two Ark openings – Remove the Torah and Return the Torah [Please limit your ark openers to no more than four individuals due to space concerns.]
  • Four Aliyot (Torah Honors)
  • Two Torah Carriers during Processional or Recessional
  • One English reading (“A Meditation on Peace”); an additional English reading is available, if needed (“Prayer for Our Country”)
  • One Ark opening during Aleinu (Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek’s policy is to give this honor to the parents of the B’nai Mitzvah unless otherwise specified.)
  • HaMotzi (The blessing over the challah at the end of services.)

Things to keep in mind regarding your honors:

  • We need full Hebrew names for Torah Aliyot (i.e. Rachel bat Moshe).
  • Your Honors list must be turned in to the Rabbi’s assistant in the Temple office no later than two weeks prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
  • Individuals given Torah Aliyot will not be guaranteed a specific aliyah (unless your honoree is a kohen or levi as they are limited to specific Aliyot).
  • We do not permit more than two people to take any one Aliyah and we prefer that they be related.
  • The only honor we give for non-Jews is an English reading. (Readings on TBTST website.)
  • The Rabbi will review your Honors list with you at the meeting prior to your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
  • If you have any questions, please contact the Rabbi prior to the date your sheet is due.
  • If you need to make changes to your honors sheet after you have turned it in, please contact the Education Director prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah day to expedite these changes.
  • An usher will introduce him or herself to you at the beginning of the service. Please be prepared to identify those members of your family who will be receiving honors or reading Torah. Please insure that your honorees and Torah readers are in their seats prior to their honor, as this will promote a smooth and efficient service. It is not always possible to accommodate late arrivals; therefore, all honorees and Torah readers are expected to be punctual.
  • An usher will escort your honorees to their seats on the left side of the Bimah prior to their honor.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Honors List

Torah Reading Policy

  1. All Torah readings for Bar and Bat Mitzvah families must be requested from the Temple office at least two months prior to the Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
  2. The Torah Reading Coordinator is the only one who may assign Torah readings.
  3. Should you need help learning your Torah portion, please contact the ritual administrator or ask your child’s tutor who will be happy to help in any possible way.
  4. To ensure we give proper respect to the Torah, we ask that you call the Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutor, (954) 721-7660 Extension 113, to chant the Torah portion you are reading at least one week prior to the date you are reading.
  5. Per our Ritual Committee’s policy, if any Torah reader is unable to chant their Torah portion for either the Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutor or the Cantor prior to the day they are scheduled to read or are unable to chant their portion correctly, they will not be allowed to read. We appreciate everyone’s willingness to read and are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you.
  6. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the main office at (954) 721-7660 Extension 110.

English Reading (1)

“A Meditation on Peace”
(found in Siddur on page 333)

May it be your will, Lord our God and God of our ancestors, that all war and bloodshed cease, and that a great and wondrous peace come to the world.

May nation not lift up sword against nation and may they learn war no more.

May all the inhabitants of the world recognize the truth, that we were not created for conflict, rivalry, hatred, jealousy and killing, but rather that we were created in order to acknowledge You, and to praise You for all time.

Have compassion upon us, O God, and fulfill for us the promise of scripture:

“I will bring peace to the land and you will lie down and none shall make you afraid. And I will remove every evil beast from the land, and the sword shall not pass over the land.” “Justice shall flow like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.” “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

Nahman of Bratzlav (adapted)

English Reading (2, if needed)

“Prayer for Our Country”
(found in Siddur on page 332)

Our God and God of our ancestors, we ask Your blessings upon our country, and upon the leaders of our nation and our communities.

Inspire all who lead and serve to conduct their affairs honorably. May peace and security, happiness and prosperity, right and freedom abide among us.

Unite the inhabitants of our country, of all backgrounds and creeds, so that we may banish hatred and bigotry, safeguard our noblest ideals, and preserve those institutions which nurture liberty.

May this land under Your Providence be an influence for good throughout the world, helping to unite all peoples in peace and freedom, and bringing closer to fulfillment the visions of Your prophets:

“Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. For the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness calm and confidence forever.” Amen.

Louis Ginsberg (adapted)

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Biography form

The information provided on the Biography form is included in The Scroll and the local newspaper.

Please complete the Biography Form and turn it into the Temple office 45 days before the Bar/Bar Mitzvah date. If your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah is in July, the form must be turned in by the end of May because the June and July issues of The Scroll are combined.

In addition, please provide two formal photographs of your child along with the completed form. The photographs will not be returned.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Bio Form

Ordering Yarmulkes/Kippahs

Ordering your yarmulkes/kippahs from the Temple Sisterhood is a mitzvah because it helps to support the youth of TBTST through scholarships. The prices and quality are competitive, so please consider ordering from the Temple gift shop.

Yarmulke/Kippah Order Form

Shabbat Flowers for Bimah

With your support, we can enhance the appearance of our bimah for Shabbat with beautiful flower arrangements on the bimah. You can sponsor the flowers in honor of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah of your child(ren) or in memory of a loved one. For a donation of $72, your names will be listed in our Shabbat bulletin acknowledging your generosity.

Bimah Flower Sponsorship Form


It is our pleasure to inform you of a very noble activity designed for the B’nai Mitzvah parents and students that significantly benefits people in need in the Broward county area.

The program, known as the WECARE (With Energy, Compassion, And Responsible Effort) food pantry is located at the Soref Jewish Community Center. The food pantry provides non-perishable food and supermarket gift cards throughout the year to anyone in need. Individual donations may be made to the food pantry in the amount of $36.00 or more; in Judaism it is called “Tikkun Olam” – saving the world.

The program administrators will use your donation to purchase a variety of food items for disbursement to those needy individuals who seek aid at the food pantry.

All B’nai Mitzvah families’ donations to the WECARE food pantry will receive a special acknowledgment in the Shabbat bulletin for that week.

WECARE Donation Form

Rules of Decorum in the Synagogue

Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek hopes that by observing the rules of decorum of our congregation you will enjoy your worship with us. We ask that you conduct yourself in a respectful and modest manner befitting the sanctity of our synagogue.

Please wait to greet your family and friends until the Kiddush after the service. Please refrain from excessive talking during services and especially during the reading of the Torah and the Rabbi’s sermon.

Dress in the synagogue should reflect the holiness of the sanctuary. For those receiving Bimah honors, we ask that men wear a jacket & tie and women wear appropriate clothing (no shorts, mini-skirts, sleeveless dresses/tops, or backless dresses/tops). Those people receiving honors on Saturday morning are asked to be at services by 9:30 am.

It is our religious policy that all men wear kippot at all times and that Jewish men are to wear tallit during services. Please do not remove your tallit during services until you have exited the sanctuary.

Smoking, taking photographs, and using electronic equipment and cell phones are prohibited on Temple premises during Shabbat.

All Photographers/B’nai Mitzvah Families

We are happy to have you in our temple and we appreciate all of your efforts on behalf of our B’nai Mitzvah families. You may use the sanctuary for photography on Thursday evening prior to your Simchah. We only ask that you are careful while you are in the sanctuary and the building and that you do not remove any articles from the Bimah.

You may use the Yad, Breast Plates, and the Torahs, BUT they must be returned to the ark exactly as you found them.

We ask that you DO NOT move furniture. The wiring underneath must stay in place and may be damaged by moving furniture

Thank you in advance for all your help.

Directions to Our Synagogue