Mitzvat HaLev

Connect to the heart

Chochmat HaLev’s B’Mitzva Program for 6th-8th Grade Families
Build knowledge and relationships for a life-long Jewish journey of joy and meaning.

August 2024 to May 2025/2026

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As seen in the j:

Read about Chochmat's unique approach to B'Mitzva journeys featured in The J: Jewish News of Northern California.

Our B'Mitzva Program Includes:

  • Monthly classes with B’Mitzva students and monthly “learning laboratories” with families on topics including:
    • Sacred Time: Shabbat & Holidays
    • Sacred Texts: Torah, Siddur, & Modern 
    • Faith & “G!d”
    • Mitzvah, Middot, & Tikkun: Personal & Social Responsibility 
    • Language, Food, and Culture
    • Prayer Skills, Drash/Sermon Writing, & Ceremony
  • Monthly 1:1 coaching sessions for prayer service and speech  
  • Monthly 1:1 mentoring sessions with Chochmat elders and community leaders
  • B’Mitzva ceremony and blessing performed by Chochmat clergy during Shabbat morning services

What’s unique about Chochmat’s program: 

  • Students get exposed to a wide range of perspectives on Judaism and receive mentorship from Chochmat elders and leaders (not just one educator), building deep intergenerational relationships across the community.
  • Students are empowered to craft their own approach to rituals and traditions, finding their own resonance through real-life experimentation rather than abstract concepts.
  • Students build confidence to continue to evolve their spiritual practices as they journey through life.
  • Students are steeped in Chochmat’s unique approach to Judaism, blending mindfulness and meditation, embodied and joyful prayer, connection with ancient texts and rituals, and deep progressive values.
  • Students develop life-long friendships through cohort-based learning and shared transformational experiences.
  • Families are a key part of the journey, with opportunities to explore and deepen their own spiritual practices. 

Tuition: $2100 + $100 Materials Fee = Total Cost $2200
(Additional fee for private tutoring for Torah reading and service leading. See
FAQs below for details on what is included and add-on opportunities.)

Lead Educator: Amanda Nube brings a wealth of experience as a teacher/tutor in B’Mitzva programs. Amanda received her Masters of Jewish Studies at the Academy of Jewish Religion LA. As a Jewish ceremonialist, mother, and educator, she is passionate about sharing her love of Judaism, Hebrew, music, and embodied spirituality.

Get in touch! Please reach out with any additional questions: amanda@chochmat.org — We look forward to supporting you on this sacred journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

Chochmat family membership for the duration of the program and a year following the B’Mitzvah ceremony (but hopefully more!) is a requirement for hosting a B’Mitzva ritual during Chochmat services with our clergy and musical team. Families also commit to attending at least one Chochmat service per month for the year leading up to the B’Mitzva. All families who would like to hold B’Mitzvah ceremonies during Chochmat services must participate in Chochmat’s B’Mitzva program.

B’Mitzva students are invited (but not required) to read Torah (up to three aliyot/sections from the week’s Torah portion), deliver a short drash (sermon), and/or lead 2-3 prayers together with our prayer leadership team, as part of our regularly scheduled Saturday morning services for the whole community. 

  • Leading Services: We have a meaningful service structure for B’Mitzva rituals and do not customize services for individual students. Leading prayers requires tutoring with a member of our prayer leadership team to ensure the student can integrate with our special style of services. Choice of prayers and the number of lessons depends on skills and previous knowledge of each student.
  • Torah Reading: Torah reading usually requires dedicated tutoring. We have a community of Chochmat-affiliated tutors who are excited to work with students on learning how to read Torah.
  • Drash (Sermon): Students will have dedicated time to work on their drash/sermon as part of the B’Mitzva program

In addition to the components outlined above, the B’Mitzva ritual during services includes a blessing from our leadership as well as elders and community members who mentored the students during the year of the program, and a special gift from the community. Parents are also invited to offer blessings and to participate in the traditional “releasing” ritual (during Torah reading).

We generally hold Shabbat morning services on the second and fourth Saturday of every month. You can work with our front office to choose a date once you register for the program. 

Program fees cover the full cost of the monthly learning program and family sessions, monthly mentorship meetings, as well as staff time associated with the B’Mitzva service. Tutoring for prayer leadership and Torah reading will be an additional cost, generally around $50-100/hour. No additional fees beyond membership are required for the B’Mitzva ritual and blessings during services, though we ask families to sponsor the kiddush lunch after services (ranging from $100 to $300 depending on number of additional guests). 

Reading from the Torah can often be one component of a meaningful B’Mitzva experience. In the cohort group, as well as in 1-1 meetings with the lead educator, students will practice and support each other in their Torah learning, from recitation of passages to commentary and analysis. We encourage our students to be called up to read some of a parsha from the Torah at their ceremony and we provide additional support and resources for students who wish to do so. Instead of focusing solely on this one ritual, our program focuses on building the foundations for a deep life-long relationship with Judaism, which we see as core to becoming a B’Mitzva. We see reading from the Torah as just one component of our multifaceted program.

Classes will be scheduled once we finalize the cohort and identify days of the week that work best for everyone. Sessions will likely be 1.5 hours long. 

We see B’Mitzvas as an opportunity for the whole family to deepen their relationship to Jewish tradition and to the Chochmat community. We’ve also found that B’Mitzva students are more likely to have a meaningful experience in the program developing their Jewish identity and experimenting with practices if their families are on-board for the journey. 

No family will be turned away because of financial need. Please contact Amanda at amanda@chochmat.org to discuss how we can make this program work for you.

The education component of the B’Mitzva program will presume students have minimal formal Jewish education. If you are concerned about whether the program is the right fit for your family, please reach out to Amanda at amanda@chochmat.org

The curriculum of the Chochmat B’Mitzva program is complementary to B’nature, covering essential Jewish learning and communal life topics. Our program will directly prepare students for B’Mitzva rituals during our services. Many of our students do both programs.

While “mitzva” (as in B’Mitzva) is often translated as “commandment,” the Jewish mystics tie it to the Hebrew word “tzavta” which means “connect.” We see the rituals and practices we are teaching in this program as a means for emerging young adults to build a deeper connection to their heritage, to the divine, to their community, to their families, and to themselves. “HaLev” means “the heart”; it is part of our name, Chochmat HaLev (Wisdom of the Heart), and reflects our deep commitment to a Judaism based in love, joy, and inner work. We hope our B’Mitzva students leave this program with a deeper connection to their hearts. 

Two Tracks: Same content, concentrated in one year or spread across two years

Two-Year Program (for 6th graders)

Year 1:

  • Monthly family meeting for foundational “learning laboratories” 
    • Topics include: Shabbat & Holidays; Sacred Texts; Torah Stories; Personal & Social Responsibility; Language, Food, and Culture; Faith & “G!d”
  • Monthly cohort meeting with Chochmat elders and community leaders (on Foundations topics)
  • Attend monthly Shabbat morning services (including attending B’mitzva ceremonies of peers) followed by potluck lunch discussion with Lead Educator, Chochmat elders, and community leaders 
  • Optional 1:1 tutoring for foundational Hebrew skills

Year 2:

  • Monthly 1:1 coaching sessions with Chochmat educator for Torah study, speech/drash-writing assistance, and spiritual check-in
  • Continue attending monthly Shabbat morning services (including attending B’mitzva ceremonies of peers) followed by potluck lunch discussion with Lead Educator, Chochmat elders, and community leaders 
  • Meetings with clergy to plan B’Mitzva Shabbat morning ceremony
  • Design and execute Chesed/Service project
  • Optional 1:1 tutoring for Torah reading, prayer leading, and ritual practice

One-Year Program (for 7th or 8th Graders)

  • Monthly family meeting for foundational “learning laboratories” 
    • Topics include: Shabbat & Holidays; Sacred Texts; Torah Stories; Personal & Social Responsibility; Language, Food, and Culture; Faith & “G!d”
  • Monthly cohort meeting with Chochmat elders and community leaders (on Foundations topics)
  • Attend monthly Shabbat morning services (including attending B’mitzva ceremonies of peers) followed by potluck lunch discussion with Lead Educator, Chochmat elders, and community leaders 
  • Monthly 1:1 coaching sessions with Chochmat educator for Torah study, speech/drash-writing assistance, and spiritual check-in
  • Meetings with clergy to plan B’Mitzva Shabbat morning ceremony
  • Design and execute Chesed/Service project (smaller for one-year program)
  • Optional 1:1 tutoring for foundational Hebrew skills and then Torah reading, prayer leading, and ritual practice
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