Chabad Raises the Bar for Bar Mitzvah Education 

For many young Jews today, their Bar Mitzvah celebration sadly signals an end to their Jewish education. BAM aims to transform the Jewish rite of passage from a closing ceremony into the first step in a personal Jewish journey. 

For many young Jews today, their Bar Mitzvah celebration sadly signals an end to their Jewish education. After studying and performing, it’s now time to move on. BAM, the new initiative from CKids at Merkos 302 in partnership with Tzivos Hashem, aims to address this phenomena and transform the Jewish rite of passage from a closing ceremony into the first step in a personal Jewish journey. 

The Rebbe revolutionized many aspects of modern-day Jewish life, amongst them, the Bar Mitzvah celebration. “To become Bar Mitzvah does not mean a graduation or completion, G-d forbid,” the Rebbe wrote to a Bar Mitzvah boy in the Summer of 1958, “on the contrary, it is the beginning of a full life as a fully qualified Jew, all your studies up to the Bar Mitzvah were only a preparation for it.”

Echoing this vision, the CKids team at Merkos 302 created an innovative curriculum dubbed BAM that helps Shluchim transform their young community members’ Bar Mitzvah into a springboard for “life as a fully qualified Jew.” The program covers all the intricate needs of preparing for a meaningful Bar Mitzvah. Ensuring a stress-free and inspiring journey for the Bar Mitzvah boy and family.

BAM provides a fun and engaging training program that fosters a personal connection to their heritage. Complete with engaging group discussions of core Jewish topics and providing an opportunity to experience Judaism hands-on. BAM is tailored to instill a sense of belonging and pride in Jewish identity as boys join the “Man Club.” 

Despite many Chabad Houses having robust CKids and CTeen programs, the stage of Bar Mitzvah comes at a unique juncture as they have outgrown Hebrew School but aren’t quite old enough to join CTeen. As Rabbi Zalmy Loewenthal, Director of CKids at Merkos 302, said, “Our vision for BAM was to bridge the gap and provide an engaging Jewish experience for all ages, enabling them to continue growing in their Judaism.”

The program provides Shluchim, who already have packed schedules, with comprehensive resources to assist them. These include personalized business cards, brochures, and social media templates, all aimed at facilitating advertising efforts and reaching out to boys nearing Bar Mitzvah age.

Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson, Executive Director of Tzivos Hashem, emphasizes BAM’s role in instilling a deep sense of responsibility and pride in young Jews. This program, serving as their final mission within Tzivos Hashem, aims to empower them as they step into adult Jewish life.

In addition to preparing the boys for their Jewish life ahead, there is also a focus on the big day itself. This includes ensuring the parents are aware of their responsibilities for the ceremony, making it less daunting for the Bar Mitzvah boys by helping them prepare a tailored speech, teaching them how to lay tefillin, and how to read their parsha from the Torah in front of friends and family.

BAM participants will have discounted access to The Bar Mitzvah Torah Trainer, an innovative Torah reading training curriculum created by Rabbi Levi Lipinksi. Customized to each boy’s Torah portion, the BMTT includes color-coded layers, clear English explanations, and QR codes to relevant audio recordings. 

BAM transforms the Bar Mitzvah from an endpoint into a launchpad for lifelong Jewish growth and leadership.  “Today, with young Jews being challenged both in school and on social media, it’s more important than ever to ensure they have a firm foundation in their faith,” said Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, Executive Director of Merkos 302, “In addition to preparing them for their Bar Mitzvah, we hope this program will give them the confidence to stand up as proud Jews no matter what comes their way.” 

For more info, visit

In keeping in line with the Rabbonim's policies for websites, we do not allow comments. However, our Rabbonim have approved of including input on articles of substance (Torah, history, memories etc.)

We appreciate your feedback. If you have any additional information to contribute to this article, it will be added below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

advertise package