Synagogue changing name of B’nei Mitzvah program



What’s in a name? Maybe more than you think.

In a letter to Shaare Emeth members, Cantor Seth Warner explains how the Reform congregation has renamed its B’nei Mitzvah program to B’Mitzvah Program.

“This shift reflects Shaare Emeth’s commitment to ‘best practices’ to include all as their true, authentic selves so all of our congregants can fully participate in communal worship. Gender inclusiveness is already part of Shaare Emeth’s welcoming culture,” writes Warner, adding that “renaming the program includes Hebraically removing gender specific- ity from bar and bat mitzvah; thus we will refer to everyone as b’mitzvah when referring to the cohort. This subtle yet important change in our nomenclature gives more choices to all of our students and their families,” Warner continued. “Our goal is to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible to all.”

Students in the B’Mitzvah Program can choose what they prefer to call their celebration. Warner says this change follows a national trend that reflects the Reform movement’s “respectful inclusion.” He also notes that Shaare Emeth is the first synagogue locally to name their program b’mitzvah