Shalom, my name is Dafna Soltes Stein. I offer specialized one to one tutoring and creative, customized Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies. For over twenty five years I have been meeting the specific needs of families on Long Island and throughout the greater New York area. I study in person one to one with students at my home, your home or via FaceTime, Skype or Zoom. Along with the Bar Bat Mitzvah student and parents we determine where and when the ceremony will take place, outside a temple, setting and how the ceremony will be structured. I use a mix of traditional and alternative Jewish rituals that offer a wide range of possibilities to mark a key moment and celebrate your Bar or Bat Mitzvah student's journey from being a Jewish child to entering the age of responsibility. With a Torah, Kipah, Tallit, Kiddush Cup and Challah we can create holiness and community together, wherever we are!
" I learned to chant from the scroll of Queen Esther and celebrated my Bat Mitzvah on Purim. I loved learning about both Esther and Vashti from a feminist point of view. When I look back five years to when I was 13, I realize how our conversations about women in the Torah shaped my perspective on life. I love my hand painted Tallit and challah cover. I still sing the Kiddish over the wine. " Carli
My philosophy as I prepare with your student for Bar and Bat Mitzvah:
- Students learn to view themselves as travelers on the road from childhood to adulthood - Bar/ Bat Mitzvah is an event that acknowledges a process that takes place over a long period of time. Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a Jewish journey which begins before the day of the ceremony and continues beyond that special moment.
- In weekly study sessions students learn what it means to be a socially responsible human being, leading an ethical life through a Jewish lens.
- Students learn to make meaning for themselves as they make connections between the world they already know at home and in school, and the world of Jewish thought and imagination as found in the Torah and other important Jewish texts and resources.
- Students learn to create holiness by considering the kinds of behavioral choices they make in their daily lives.
- Students learn to be "God-Wrestlers," which is what the word "Israel" means - to ask questions and to wrestle with the answers. To recognize that for most questions there are multiple answers. And for some questions no definitive answer at all.
- Students study the Sabbath, Jewish holidays, Bible stories, Morals, Ethics and Prayer reaching for the meanings that make sense to them at this time in their lives.
- Students learn to chant from the Torah and lead parts of the service in both Hebrew and English.
- Students embark upon a journey that leads to understanding that there are many ways to experience themselves as a Jew - endless possible ways to prepare for and celebrate becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
- BELOW VIEW A STUDENT AS SHE PRACTICES READING DIRECTLY FROM THE TORAH FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME: