B’Nei Mitzvah Program

In 2020 we were fortunate to receive a grant from the Erdi Foundation for the development and delivery of our B’Nei Mitzvah Program. While our plans were restricted due to what transpired with the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain focused on expanding the reach of our Program and encourage anyone who has questions or queries, who knows someone who might be interested, to get in touch with us. We have absolutely no pre-requisite requirements for participation in our Program – other than a willingness to participate and eagerness to broaden the mind.

ARK Centre’s B’Nei Mitzvah Program is designed by Rebbetzin Mushka who has evolved the sessions to be the ideal combination of activities  for this community’s emerging generation. She, together with Rabbi Gabi, deliver a range of different activities that relate to particular aspects of our Jewish lives.

Over two terms, participants have a session with a Sofer (scribe), go on the now famous Kosher tour, learn about recycling and Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), hear from indigenous Australians and refugees, talk with Police officers, enjoy a Chocolate Seder to name just a few of the ways their young minds are engaged.  Our Program sees boys and girls together for the majority of activities. One exception is when the boys tie-dye tzitit and the girls visit the mikveh.

The ethos of the Program is such that these pre-Bar and Bat Mitzvah participants can hear, see and learn a range of Jewish subjects and ideas. The extent to which a concept resonates with each, is personal to the individual. What remains fundamentally important is that by the end of the B’Nei Mitzvah experience, each young person has been exposed to the core tenets of Modern Orthodox Judaism and, as such, has a solid foundation to work with after they graduate from B’Nei Mitzvah and move towards Bar and Bat Mitzvah.

And importantly, it doesn’t end there! Rabbi Gabi and Rebbetzin Mushka hold a number of events each year for the Post B’Nei cohort. This provides opportunities to come together, do something for charity (like packing food boxes) and stay connected.

The 2019 B’Nei Mitzvah Program culminated in a wonderful graduation ceremony where parents and loved ones kvelled over the achievements of their B’Nei Mitzvah graduates. Everyone who participated shared some of their thoughts and highlights and each spoke from the heart making it a beautiful ceremony for all.

The 2020 Program was off to a great start in Term 1. The B’Nei crew were engaged and thoroughly enjoying their activities. Unfortunately, toward the end of the Term we suspended the sessions as we all retreated into isolation. Fortunately, at the time of publication we are planning the resumption of B’Nei much to the excitement of everyone involved. Things will need to be slightly different to ensure everyone’s safety, but nothing will detract from what ARK Centre B’Nei Mitzvah Program is all about.

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