In preparation for their bar mitzvah and bas mitzvah season, sixth and seventh grade students at HALB participated in a sensitivity and inclusion training workshop facilitated by Mrs. Carly Namdar, Director of Middle School Guidance, Morah Michelle Farbman, and Rabbi Jeremy Fine, Directors of Student Life. Students shared ideas on various topics centered around their hopes and expectations for their bar mitzvahs and bas mitzvahs, as they were asked to consider how they would want others to act at their own simchah and how they should conduct themselves at another person’s simchah.

Students discussed and collaborated as they explored ideas related to topics such as etiquette and manners, social media and group-chats, speeches, dancing, cell-phone use, and Shabbos in shul, with an eye towards COVID sensitivities. This was then reviewed and condensed to produce guidelines that we hope students will adhere to at all celebrations in order to help support and honor their desire to be m’samei’ach each other with the utmost consideration and mutual respect, in true HALB spirit.

As a student-driven initiative, this guide will help increase students’ sensitivity towards others and ensure that they will be able to celebrate this milestone with complete ahavas Yisrael and HALB pride. Let the party season begin!