Celebrate Becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah in St. Thomas

     You have the opportunity to leave the pressure to hold extravagant celebrations behind and rejoice with your family and close friends as your become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah with the emphasis on the “mitzvah” and not on the “bar”. Celebrating here afterwards means enjoying a simple and elegant lunch in Lilienfeld House, an historic building that our Congregation uses for celebratory events, or going to a nearby fine restaurant, or renting a catamaran and taking your friends and family on a sailing adventure through the Virgin Islands.
     All you have to do is submit an application and a deposit which is fully refundable up to sixty days before your joyous day.
     You can cruise into St. Thomas in the morning on a cruise ship, celebrate becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, enjoy St. Thomas and St. John and be back on your ship in the late afternoon. Even better, vacation here or on St. John with your friends and family for a week or more. Celebrate with them one of the most important times in your life in a synagogue setting and Island paradise you will never forget.
     What is required to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at our Synagogue?
     First your family must be members of a Synagogue or Havurah where you live. You will be trained under the guidance of your own Rabbi, Cantor, Educator of Spiritual Leader. We expect of you minimally what your own Congregation or Havurah would expect of you. Unlike large Synagogue, however, at the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas, you remain free to lead the Congregation in most of the worship Service, read from Torah, Haftarah and deliver a D’var Torah. We ask you to take on two personal projects. The first must be a “mitzvah project,” with which you provide some form of community or world service without monetary reward. You might adopt a resident at one of the homes for the aged where you live, or organize your friends to raise funds for an important humanitarian relief effort, or work in an animal shelter. You might also work to raise funds for one of the worthy community service agencies in the Virgin Islands. The second personal project must be a “ritual practice project,” with which you choose a particular Jewish ritual mitzvah that you currently do not perform regularly, and begin practicing that Jewish ritual. It might be lighting Shabbat candles Friday night, or encouraging your family to have a Shabbat meal each Friday night or Saturday lunch, or putting mezuzzot up in your home on doors that do not have them, or fasting on a particular day to ritually purify yourself or observe a public fast day like Yom Kippur.
     Rabbi Moch will be happy to work with you, your local Rabbi and your tutor to insure that you are well prepared for your important day.
     We allow B’nei Mitzvah Services on Monday, Thursday or Saturday mornings throughout the year. The cost is $2,000 or $2,500 during winter school vacation time.
     We look forward to celebrating with you.