Kitah Zayin - Grade 7 (Bar and Bat Mitzvah)

Students in Kitah Zayin (Grade 7) meet Monday nights from 6:00-8:00pm for class. The 7th graders meet at the same time that our Dor Hahemshekh program for 8th-12th graders meet. 7th-12th graders enjoy pizza and social time from 6-6:30pm. The 8th-12th graders are role models for the 7th graders to continue their Jewish learning in the Dor Hahemshekh program.  See below for the Kitah Zayin curriculum.

In addition to the Monday night class, BAS students prepare for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah in the following ways:

  • Rabbi Bronstein's B'nai Mitzvah class meets on Sunday mornings. In this series of ~10 wonderful sessions, 7th graders and their parents study with the Rabbi in an intimate setting. This is a participatory class that incorporates the study of text and explores topics such as Torah, God, righteousness, prayer and the meaning of becoming B'nai Mitzvah.
  • 7th graders begin to meet regularly with their individual Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutors to learn Torah and Haftarah trope and practice their readings.
  • Each 7th grader meets 6-7 times one-on-one with Rabbi Bronstein to prepare his/her D'var Torah (reflections on the Torah and/or Haftarah readings). Through these meetings, their personal connection to the rabbi is strengthened.
  • 7th graders rehearse for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah in the sanctuary with Rabbi Fredda Cohen.
  • In recognition of their upcoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah, 7th graders are encouraged to live the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world). There are many ways to volunteer in our community, and 7th graders are encouraged to choose a cause that has personal meaning to them--ideally, a cause they will support for years. Click here for BAS social action opportunities and Westchester social action opportunities.

Kitah Zayin Curriculum

Developed by Rabbi Fredda Cohen for Bet Am Shalom

Core concept: Transmission of Heritage

Essential questions:

How can we draw relevance from the ancient texts?
How do we grapple and engage with the text?
In what ways is our heritage adaptable?
What do our stories tell about us?
What is my place within these stories and my responsibility on the continuum?

Topics:  Parshat Hashavua; Pirke Avot and Chasidic Masters, Siddur

Learner Outcomes: Students will attain…

Parshat Hashavuah: 

  • Familiarity with the content and structure of Bible
  • Basic familiarity with Biblical Hebrew
  • Understanding of the universality of ancient texts
  • Understanding of the evolution of the interpretation of Biblical texts

Pirke Avot:

  • Familiarity with basic structure and vocabulary of Mishnaic Hebrew
  • Familiarity with their ethical and moral rabbinic heritage
  • Understand the evolutionary nature of Judaism (from Biblical to rabbinic)
  • Appreciate the relevance and timelessness of Pirke Avot

Chasidic Masters:

  • Understand that Judaism is grounded in the heart, joy, and celebration as well as in the cerebral and intellectual
  • Comprehend the broad nature of Torah
  • See traditional stories as effective vehicles of imparting of Torah, narrative, laws, ritual values
  • Gain an appreciation of the diversity and richness of the Jewish tradition and heritage


  • Review of selected prayers studied in previous years
  • Mastery of davening and understanding of Shacharit service
  • Comprehension of structure of service- with goal of being comfortable participants in the Saturday morning service

Classroom procedures:

  • Reading in the original Hebrew for fluency practice and comprehension of basic text style and key vocabulary
  • Discussions on topical issues pertinent to texts
  • Reading of Chasidic stories- experiential elements including acting, art, computer, etc
  • Oral recitation and practice of prayers
  • Some teacher guided explanation of biblical and rabbinic evolutionary process
  • Cooperative learning groups discussing and presenting various elements studied


  • Interview and Story project: Students interview a Bet Am Shalom senior in order to learn about their life story, and how it connects to the student with the goal of developing empathy and understanding and appreciation for the transmission of heritage
  • Personalized Yad Project



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