Adventure Rabbi: Synagogue without Walls
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Bar / Bat Yisrael: an Alternative to a Bar / Bat Mitzvah
Individual Program: 12 Weeks
Distance Learning Optional

Jewish Coming of Age CeremonyIf you want your son or daughter to have a:

  • Jewish Coming of Age Ceremony
  • Connection to Jewish Heritage
  • Opportunity to Celebrate with Friends and Family
  • Generational Continuity

But you are not ready or able to commit to a time intensive Bar or Bat Mitzvah program that requires weeks of Hebrew tutoring, months (or even years) of religious school and countless weekends spent in synagogue, then our Bar or Bat Yisrael ceremony may be the right alternative for your family.

This is an ideal program for families who like the concept of bar or bat mitzvah, but just don't see how learning Hebrew will help their son or daughter be better equipped to deal with the world.

Bar Yisrael and Bat Yisrael:

  • Focused around Tikkun Olam/ Social Action project
  • Opens the door for future involvement with Judaism
  • Helps develop Jewish identity
  • Includes Independent Investigation of One Jewish topic
  • Your time frame, your schedule
  • Appropriate for 12 -15 year olds

How does it work?
There are three elements (details below) to the program plus seven meetings with the Rabbi Evon Yakar. These culminate in a private ceremony at the venue of your choice (details below.)

Three Elements:

Part I: Independent Learning Project

As a Bar or Bat Yisrael student, you will work with Rabbi Evon Yakar, our B'nai Mitzvah Coach, to choose one area of Judaism you wish to learn about or experience. You will devote at least 10 hours to your studies. During your five meetings, you will discuss what you are learning and have an opportunity to ask lots of question. At your Bar or Bat Yisrael Ceremony, you will teach the community about what you have learned.

Examples of Past Projects:

  • Jewish Roots of Reggae
  • Challah: Baking Challahs from Around the World & Sharing them at a Retirement Community
  • Why are so Many Comedians Jewish?
  • Learning the Hebrew Alphabet
  • Learning about the Student's Jewish Family Through Interviews with Family Members
  • Tour of Jewish Boulder: Visiting Jewish Organizations in Boulder and Learning about Them

Part II: Tikkun Olam/ Social Action Project
Tikkun Olam - Social Action Bar Mitzvah ProjectYou will devote ten hours to working on a Tikkun Olam / Social Action project of your own design. During your five meetings you will learn how this particular project illustrates a Jewish value and discuss your experiences with the project. You will track your progress and learning in a mini-journal so that you will be able to share what you have learned at your Bar or Bat Yisrael Ceremony.

Examples of Past Projects:

  • Trailwork (Durango, CO)
  • Graffiti Removal (New York City)
  • Building Homes (New Orleans)
  • Organizing a Neighborhood Park Clean-Up (Denver, CO)
  • Helping Prepare Meals for Koko the Signing Gorilla (California)

Part III: Sabbath Prayers
You will also memorize the basic prayers for Sabbath dinner at home and Havdallah, the ceremony closing the Sabbath. These are easy, enjoyable and useful prayers that will enable you to be part of the Jewish community wherever your life takes you. You will not need to be able to read them in Hebrew.

Putting it all Together:
You will meet with Rabbi Evon Yakar five times during the twelve weeks. The first meeting will be to explain the program and identify your projects. The middle three meetings will be opportunities to discuss what you are learning, ask questions and delve more deeply into areas of interest. In the last meeting we will put it all together and practice delivering the speeches you have prepared to share what you have learned with your community.

A month before your ceremony, you will have two more sessions with Rabbi Evon Yakar to plan the ceremony (via Skype or in-person in South Lake Tahoe, California.)

When you have completed your projects, we will gather together with family and friends. Generally, the favorite days for ceremonies are Friday night Shabbat Service or Saturday night Havdallah Services but because there is no Torah reading involved, the ceremony can actually be held on any day of the week.

Rabbi Evon Yakar's services are beautiful, heart-felt experiences, filled with song, prayer and relevant discussions. Together as a community we will celebrate your connection to Judaism and entrance into the teenage years. There will be ample opportunities for friends, parents and family to add their blessings to the service so that it becomes a unique expression of you!

The rabbi will bring the prayerbooks to the ceremomy site of your choosing. When you are ready to plan the ceremony, we have great resources posted such as:

  • The Bar or Bat Yisrael student's large print version of the service.
  • The guests' booklet format version of the service (same content, different format)
  • A diagram of how to set up the service venue
  • The honors you will be able to give out to guests
  • A list of items you will need to bring to the service
    Find This All Here>>

Twelve Week Program includes:

  • Five Phone/ Skype learning meetings with Rabbi Evon Yakar
  • Two planning meetings with Rabbi Evon Yakar
  • One hour a Week Tikkun Olam / Social Action Project
  • One hour a week Independent Study
  • Three Hours to Learn Hebrew Prayers
  • Four Hours to Prepare Speeches and Service

    About Rabbi Evon Yakar:Rabbi Evon Yakar - South Lake Tahoe, CA
    Rabbi Evon comes to us via Skype from South Lake Tahoe, California. He specializes in youth education and is an expert at making Judaism relevant and meaningful to 12 and 13 year olds.

    He is passionate about sharing Judaism with his students and loves the opportunity to personalize the program according to the interests of each of his students.

    Rabbi Evon recently built a new road bike and can often be found riding the beautiful roads and trails near his home in South Lake Tahoe California. Rabbi Evon works part-time for the Adventure Rabbi Program and part time as the Rabbi at Temple Bat Yam. Rabbi Evon also loves skiing, hiking, and playing ice hockey. In his free time you can find him hiking with his wife Rachel and their dog Sasha.

Commonly Asked Questions:

Bat Mitzvah Student during her ceremonyDo we get to personalize the ceremony?
Yes! We can include as many of your guests as you would like. You can even write your own prayerbook, although most families opt to use our copies of Gates of Prayer or the Adventure Rabbi nature-based prayerbooks.

Where are the ceremonies?
You can pick your own venue, although we appreciate low key venues that take the emphasis away from conscious consumption rather than fancy hotels

Small ceremonies often take place as part of a morning hike, while larger ceremonies are generally held in locations where everyone can sit in chairs in order to minimize the impact of large groups on the wilderness.

A favorite outdoor location is the Jaycee or Wood Shelter on Flagstaff Mountain above Boulder. This is also great if you want to start with a short, easy hike.

A fabulous indoor venue is the Community House in Chautauqua Park in Boulder, Colorado. This is great if you want to do a short hike before the service and you can have a lovely party afterwards, using thier in-house caterer.

The Star House is a unique, lovely venue for the more spiritualy minded. Another favorite indoor location, which can hold larger groups than the Community House and can still accomodate a party afterwards, is the CUCC church on Table Mesa. We frequently use this venue for our Friday night Shabbat services. Less good for hike
s, but its possible! A new venue on our list is the Boulder Integral Center. Also not good for hikes but a lovely venue.

When you are planning your ceremony, please review this check-list>>

Does it have to be outside?
As the Adventure Rabbi Program, we love hiking or skiing ceremonies but we realize not every family can do that.
View Outdoor Bar Mitzvah One Minute Video >>

Or, view photos from a recent Skiing Bat Mitzvah at Copper Mountain >>

What about having the ceremony outside of Colorado or up in the Mountains?
Rabbi Evon is happy to officiate at ceremonies beyond South Lake Tahoe, California. Obviously it costs a bit more, because it takes more of the Rabbi's time. For price quotes visit our contract page>>

Bar Mitzvah New YorkWe have family members who can't hike, but we know a ceremony that includes hiking with the Adventure Rabbi is an amazing and unique experience. Is there any way we can incorporate a little hiking?
We suggest adding a hiking Friday night service led by Rabbi Jamie Korngold and her guitar. That way even if your main service can't be on the trail because not everyone is physically capable of hiking, at least a subset of the group can enjoy that amazing experience. We have found that the amazing feeling created in the smaller group rapidly spreads to the entire group.

Can we also add a short hiking piece to our ceremony?
If you hold the service on the summit of Flagstaff Mountain (Boulder, CO) we can add a little hiking at beginning of the service that is very accessible. Those who can't walk or be pushed in wheelchair, can drive to the service site and they will not miss too much.

If this is an individual program, how will we meet other people?
We encourage your family to participate in Adventure Rabbi events throughout the year so that you can build a relationship with Rabbi Korngold and our larger community. You will meet an amazing group of people, eager to find a meaningful way to experience their Judaism.

In order to facilitate this we will give your bar or bat yisrael student a free membership to the Adventure Rabbi Program, a $750 value.

We also recommend reading Rabbi Korngold's books to get a sense of the background of the Adventure Rabbi Program.

How are parents part of this process?
We highly encourage one parent to be present for the meetings. This serves two functions. It often puts the student more at ease and it allows the conversation to continue even after the session is over. We encourage you to make this a family process.

Which Program is right for you?

    OPTION 1:
    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>>

    OPTION 2:
    Adventure Bar and Bat Mitzvah Class, Boulder Colorado
    (10 months, August - May)
    Click here>>
    Ready to register and sign click here >>

    OPTION 3:
    Bar and Bat Yisrael, a less intensive coming of age program without Hebrew
    Option for Distance Learning
    (12 weeks)
    On this page, read above

    Ready to register and sign click here >>

    OPTION 4:
    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>>


If you have spoken to the rabbi and are ready to sign a contract, please click here>>

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