Create deeply meaningful b’nei mitzvah paths for students with diverse learning needs, using tools, curricula, and resources from Gateways.
Our B’nei Mitzvah Program
Learn about the Gateways B’nei Mitzvah Preparation Program, which prepares students for their bar/bat mitzvah with a combination of individual tutoring, classroom activities and a weekly prayer service. Read stories from families who worked with Gateways to achieve this important milestone.
Learning to Read Hebrew
Learn more about the unique multi-sensory approach to teaching Hebrew decoding at Gateways.
Prayers and Blessings with Visual Supports
Prayers with visual supports were created to help make prayers simple, accessible, and understandable for students with a variety of disabilities. In these files, each Hebrew phrase is illustrated by a simple picture symbol (we use Mayer-Johnson Boardmaker symbols). Students with learning needs can follow along with each prayer and learn to understand its meaning using symbol prayers. Assemble these prayers into a Siddur, or use them to create file folder activities.
Learning the Torah Portion
Sample Torah Portion Instruction Page
Gateways students learn to chant one trope phrase at a time. First they read the phrase in large text with vowels and musical notes. Then they gradually transition to chanting from the Torah script.
Sample Torah Portion with Symbols
Some students learn to read Torah portions that are illustrated using Boardmaker’s Picture Communication Symbols®. The colored dots above each symbol represent the trope notes.
Sample Translated Torah Portion with Comprehension Questions
This Torah portion was turned into a booklet illustrated with Picture Communication Symbols®. Reading comprehension questions were added to help assess how well the student understood their Torah portion.
D’var Torah Guides
These guides can be used to support students in writing the D’var Torah for their bar/bat mitzvah by giving them tools and guidelines to express and orgainze their thoughts.
For the Day of the Service
Sample B’nei Mitzvah Schedule
When students know what to expect on the day of their b’nei mitzvah, it can reduce their anxiety and help keep them on track.
B’nei Mitzvah Expected Behaviors
Students sometimes need reminders of behavior that is expected in synagogue. This is a sample template of a list that can be used to prompt them to follow the expected behaviors.
Other Resources for Clergy
You can work directly with a Gateways coach to make your synagogue’s b’nei mitzvah program more inclusive and accessible. Discover our customizable coaching and consultation options.
Inclusive B’nei Mitzvah 101: Begin the Process
Self-reflection questions for clergy to help you get started in your inclusive B’nei Mitzvah journey.
Frequently Asked Questions (Clergy)
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