Adventure Rabbi: Synagogue without Walls
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Requirements for Enrollment in
Adventure Bar & Bat Mitzvah Class

An alternative Bar/ Bat Mitzvah Class
taught by Rabbi Jamie Korngold,
Jeff Finkelstein and Elaine Barenblat
combining outdoor adventures with Jewish learning
based in Boulder, Colorado.


This is the Adventure Rabbi Program, not the Slacker Rabbi Program. Bar and Bat Mitzvah students must be in reasonable physical shape to participate in this group. You do not have to be an incredible athlete, but you shouldn't be a coach potato who hates hiking.

Bar and Bat mitzvah students must meet these requirements to be accepted to this program:

1. Be able to hike uphill without stopping for 30 minutes.
2. Enjoy social situations with peers and be willing to work with a group. Be willing to bring in any student who feels left out.
3. Students may make-up two classes by reading assigned chapters of Rabbi Korngold's books and writing about it. They may not miss the orientation, the first hike or Deer Mt hike. After two classes, missed classes are made up by private study with the Rabbi at a cost of $125/hour. After three classes are missed, the students may be asked to move into the individual program, which costs $500 more, if the Rabbi feels the student no longer is part of the group.
4. Be ready to learn! (There are no Hebrew or Religious school prerequisites for this class but you must be ready to learn.)
5. Complete and email the rabbis two homework assignments a month. These must be sent as Word attachments or Googldocs.
6. Parents must be willing to join our class Facebook group where the rabbi will post information.
7. Complete the required Hebrew prayers, Torah verses and speeches before the ceremony.
8. Students must have an interview with Rabbi Korngold before they are admitted to this program.

Over a decade of experience has taught as that the following students will thrive in the Individual Program rather than this class:

  • Students who don't want to do it
  • Students who do not enjoy peer social settings
  • Students who identify as Introverts
  • Students who are on the Autism spectrum
  • Students with Social Anxiety
  • Competitive Athletes with inflexible schedules

An interview is required for admission.

Bar and Bat Mitzvah students will need certain basic outdoor gear for this class including: good hiking boots (Really! They need hiking boots!), large day pack, rain gear, warm layers, water bladder such as Platypus or Camelback to go inside backpack, Yaktrax, snowshoes (may be rented) and ski poles, hiking poles (optional).

Students should be prepared for a serious year of Hebrew study and able to commit time to this aspect of the program. Most students meet with their tutor once a week for a year and study daily. We recommend that students who have no Hebrew background start with a tutor as soon as possible, ideally two years before their ceremony. This will make their workload more manageable and less intense.
In the Boulder area, fees are generally $35-$55 an hour. Outside of Boulder they are typically $50 - $85 an hour. Most of our students learn with Elaine Barenblat, our educator, either in small groups or in private lessons.

Most of our students chant or read 6 verses of Torah. But students with severe learning limitations have read as little as three and very skilled readers have read as many as 21 verses. You will be reading from our backpacking Torah.

What are the Hebrew requirements to get into the program?
Many of our students have no Hebrew background while others have been attending Jewish Day School for years. Either way, because the Hebrew portion is taught individually, we can make it work and we will create a program that is appropriately challenging.

Bar and Bat Mitzvah students will track their learning in journals and email the journals to the rabbi. At the end of the course, these journals will become the seeds that blossom into the speeches the students give at their Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies, explaining the connections between their learning, Judaism and nature.

Our not so secret agenda is to introduce the Bar and Bat Mitzvah students and their families to Shabbat as meaningful part of life. Our lives are so frenetic! One of the greatest gifts Judaism has given us is the mandate to take a day off every week. We hope that when the bat and bar mitzvah are in college and are overwhelmed with life, they will look back at this year and think, "Oh Shabbat. Maybe that can help." To that end, my goal is to introduce them to a Shabbat practice that fits into their lifestyle and can enhance their lives.

Each month for eight months the student will pick some type of Shabbat observance to try out. They can be traditional activities like lighting candles, baking challah or going to synagogue but might also be non-traditional activities like going skiing with your family but not complaining, eating ice cream for breakfast, or making dinner for you family. After four months, the students pick one Shabbat observance that worked for them and repeats it for four months. These experience are written up monthly and emailed to Rabbi Korngold.

Monthly Meetings:
Students who are not learning their Hebrew with our educator Elaine Barenblat, meet with her once a month (online or at our office) so that she can check in on their progress. These meetings are usually 15 minutes Toward the end of the year, she meets with each student 2-3 times to help them write their speeches These meetings are usually 30-60 minutes.

Adventure Bar & Bat Mitzvah Class:
Resources & Information

Schedule & Description of Classes:

Requirements For Enrollment in Adventure Class

Click Here >>


Adventure Bar & Bat Mitzvah Class Registration - Click Here >>

Hebrew Tutors:

Click Here >>

Learning Resources:

Ceremony Information:

After reading through this information, if you feel an Adventure Rabbi Bar and Bat mitzvah will be a good fit for your family, please either:

Which Program is Right for Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah?

Individual Bar and Bat Mitzvah Program
Option for Distance Learning and Destination Ceremonies
(10 months, you pick the start date)
More info click here>>
Ready to register and sign click here>>

Adventure Bar and Bat Mitzvah Class, Boulder, Colorado
(10 months, August - May)
On this page, read above

Ready to register and sign click here >>

Bar and Bat Yisrael, a less intensive coming of age program without Hebrew
Option for Distance Learning
(12 weeks)
More info click here >>
Ready to register and sign click here >>

Israel Bar or Bat Mitzvah Ceremony
>Adventure Rabbi bar or bat mitzvah training with Rabbi Evon Yakar during monthly Skype meetings or as part of the Adventure Class
>Individual Hebrew tutoring with your own tutor
>Unforgettable unique bar or bat mitzvah ceremony in Israel.
Locations include the Robinson Arch at the Western Wall, the Ancient Synagogue in Ein Gedi and atop Masada

More info click here>>

Memorable Events - Planning


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Bar & Bat Mitzvah Options:

Individual Bar & Bat Mitzvah Program

OPTION 2: Adventure
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Bar & Bat Mitzvah Options:

Individual Bar & Bat Mitzvah Program

OPTION 2: Adventure
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Photography >>
Bar & Bat Mitzvah Options:

Individual Bar & Bat Mitzvah Program

OPTION 2: Adventure
Bar & Bat Mitzvah Class

OPTION 3: Bar & Bat Yisrael

OPTION 4: Summer Bar & Bat Mitzvah Expedition
OPTION 5: Bar Mitzvah in Israel or Bat Mitzvah in Israel