Below you will find a list of our most frequently asked questions about Tawonga’s B’nai Mitzvah program.

When does registration begin?

Enrollment for the 2021 cohort of the Tawonga Bar, Bat & B’nai Mitzvah Program is currently full, though you are welcome to register now and we will put you on our waitlist.
Registration for the 2022 cohort begins in November 2021:

  • Nov 10 – Priority Registration
    Who’s Eligible: Anyone who attended Session A/B/Quest/TLI/SCIT in 2021 plus siblings, or was canceled from 2021 TOC
  • Nov 17 – Early Registration
    Who’s Eligible: Anyone who was enrolled in a 2021 family camp, 2021 TBM families, 2021 waitlisted families, families who canceled from any 2021 program
  • December 1 – Open Registration
    Open to the public

During the registration process you will be prompted to make a $250 non-refundable deposit. Once you submit your registration request, our registrar will send you a confirmation email within two business days letting you know your registration status.

Please contact Meg Adler, our Program Manager at 415.543.2267 or at meg@tawonga.org if you need any assistance.

Does my child need to know how to read Hebrew to participate?

No! Tawonga’s B’nai Mitzvah program is designed to fit your child’s unique service and we realize this will look different for each and every family.

During our kitot (classes), all participating youth will learn the melodies of prayers using Hebrew to English transliteration and spend time understanding these prayers through creative learning processes. We will also provide the Hebrew to English transliteration of Torah and Haftorah portions, as well as the English translation. Tawonga also offers online Hebrew classes. More information will be available in the spring for new classes.

How often will the kitot (classes) meet?

Students will participate in seven classes, during the first year of the program. These classes, held on weekends, will be led by experienced and trained Tawonga staff, will incorporate interactive activities and will cover a thought-provoking curriculum.

In addition, during the first year, as safety allows, students and families will join a monthly, local, Shabbat dinner. We will also hold two shabbaton weekends either in person or virtually as safety allows.

What will an average class look like?

Each class will meet seven times during the first year. These dynamic programs, taught by premier and experienced Tawonga staff, will include engaging discussions about issues important and timely for teens, creative methods to understand prayers, team-building exercises, music, community guest-speakers and more! Participants will also have two weekend retreats and family engagement opportunities either in person as safety allows or virtually.

How much does this program cost?

Cost of $3,825 for the 2022-2023 Year Includes:

  • Seven kitot (classes) per year
  • All experiential-learning curriculum. Year 1 focuses on Jewish blessings and values. Year 2 focuses on Torah interpretation and inheriting a tradition
  • Retreats (two per year)
  • Education and song leading from premier staff
  • Seven parent learning sessions per year
  • Monthly Family Shabbats
  • Mitzvah Project (Year 2)
  • Prayer coaching in transliteration
  • D’rash (sermon) preparation (during Year 2 only)
  • Mentorship opportunities
  • Simcha coaching and support from Program Manager
  • Planning and preparation for the B’nai Mitzvah Service
  • Optional use of our Torah, Siddurim, Kippot, and Aron Kodesh (ark for the Torah).
  • Student Journal (one for each year)
  • “So You’re Having a Simcha” a guide to planning your child’s bar, bat or b’nai mitzvah
  • Mitzvah Project Planner
  • More info on cost here.

Additional Expenses:

  • B’nai Mitzvah service & song leaders ($800-$2000 depending on location and leader)
  • B’nai Mitzvah hebrew tutoring
  • B’nai Mitzvah service venue

Where will the kitot (classes) meet?

Our two kitot meet in their respective locations: either San Francisco or the East Bay.

In addition to our initial B’nai Mitzvah Kick-Off Orientation, students will participate in two retreats located either virtually or at the NatureBridge Marin Headlands site as safety allows. Students and families will also have the opportunity to join three local family events (Shabbat, Havdalah and one other event in the Spring) with their respective kita.

When will this program start?

We will welcome our seventh cohort of 6th graders in the Fall of 2022. This is a two-year program.

Still Have Questions?

For additional questions about the program, please contact David Schoenholtz, Jewish Programs Manager, at david@tawonga.org or 415.543.2267.

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