Bar Mitzvah Program

Bar Mitzvah Program

Journey to 13, UJEB’s unique Bar Mitzvah program, is a coming-of-age experience which is contemporary and meaningful for participants. Our 6-month program is a creative and alternative option for marking this important Jewish life milestone, which enables participants to take their place in our community as passionate and engaged young men.

The program focuses on four main themes: community, culture, wellbeing and rites of passage. It also includes visits from inspiring community figures and organisations, and culminates in a ceremony designed by the boys themselves.

Journey to 13 can either stand alone, or complement a more traditional synagogue Bar Mitzvah. It is open to all, and is suitable for students at non-Jewish schools. Affiliation with a synagogue is not required. The program runs twice per year, starting in February (recommended for year 7 students) and July (recommended for grade 6 students). Registrations are now open for our semester 2, 2021 program. To find out more or sign up, contact our Bar Mitzvah Coordinator, Samuel Herz, on barmi@ujeb.org.au or 0435 793 512.

Bar Mitzvah Video


The UJEB program is designed to teach young people about what it means to become Bar Mitzvah. We chose this program for (our son) Oliver as we wanted him to learn about this stage of life, in relation to being part of the Jewish community, and also being Jewish in the wider Australian community. Being part of the program gave Oliver the opportunity to reflect and discuss one’s responsibilities and many other interesting topics, with other Jewish boys of similar age. He participated in the Bar Mitzvah Program in 2020 and I was pleasantly surprised at how Sam (their leader) managed to keep the group of boys not just learning but engaged in conversations online!! I would definitely recommend this to others who are looking for a connection with the Jewish community.”
Miruna Lau, parent of 2020 Bar Mitzvah graduate

The UJEB program was a fantastic kick start into my son’s Barmitzvah year. The diversity of topics and the connection with other Jewish boys is what initially attracted us to the program and we weren’t disappointed. In particular, my son loved meeting a new group of kids and being able to have discussions he otherwise wouldn’t have had in a supportive environment. From delving into ‘manhood’, learning some Krav Maga and having dinner together in the Sukkah with a holocaust survivor, this program covered a variety of interesting and age appropriate topics. Samuel was fantastic in facilitating this all. Elijah has really enjoyed the past few months – thank-you!
Vicky Kuriel, parent of 2019 Bar Mitzvah graduate

The UJEB program was brilliant for our son, Tal. It’s important to us that our kids find where they fit within the Jewish narrative and community – our family isn’t religious, and our kids attend a public school. Connecting Tal with a group of likeminded boys and going through their Barmi journey was a perfect introduction to what it means to be a good man, and how that fits with Jewish life. You couldn’t ask for a better role model than Samuel, the UJEB Bar Mitzvah Coordinator. He is engaging and kind, and our son was always excited to attend the sessions. Learning the Parsha along with the program gave it so much more meaning. The programme comes highly recommended.
Shila Barak and Mitch Buzza, parents of 2019 Bar Mitzvah graduate

Location Day Time Fees Year and Semester
Location Day Time Fees Year and Semester
Thursdays After school $50 non-refundable enrolment fee (please pay on enrolment to secure your place)
2021 Enrolment fee
Thursdays After school $500 (for 6-month program) + additional cost for ceremony
2021 semester 2

Bar Mitzvah Program Details

The UJEB Bar Mitzvah program is designed specifically for students at non-Jewish day schools. The program focuses on essential tools for young men who are coming of age, rather than being centred around a synagogue or religious practices.

There are four main themes in the program. Many sessions are run in partnership with relevant and inspiring community figures and organisations, including Stand Up, Friendship Circle and Community Security Group Victoria (CSG).

Our community helps us grow and shapes who we are. Participants explore different communities including local, Jewish and international communities. The group chooses a community initiative and develops a plan to contribute to their chosen cause.

From falafel to footy, Jewish Australians have a diverse culture. Who we are is defined by where we have come from and where we live. Participants explore their culture and how it enriches their life.

Exercise and Mindfulness:
In the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day lives it is hard to find time to centre ourselves. Sometimes we forget to be aware of the world around us and how we are feeling. Participants learn the importance of managing their feelings and maintaining balance, and explore various methods to achieve this.

Rites of Passage:
Different cultures have unique ways of welcoming young men into their communities. In this program participants look at different coming-of-age ceremonies and then design one for their own group, to find their own special way to mark this important life event.

The program ends with a meaningful ceremony for family and friends, designed by the participants themselves.