Cantor Barbra officiates all services at multiple venues including homes, catering halls, and restaurants.

Common Questions

Reform Judaism accepts patrilineal descent. This means that if a child’s father is Jewish, then we consider the child to be Jewish. We are happy to teach your child Jewish history and the meaning of being Jewish.
Yes. The bulk of our students are unaffiliated Jews; they don’t belong to a synagogue or observe the holidays, but do want to have a Jewish education. We are more than happy to teach your child the meaning and the history of our people while preparing for a meaningful ceremony.
It really varies depending on how quickly your child learns to read Hebrew, the prayers, the Torah portion, and writes a speech about the meaning of the Torah portion. The average student takes approximately one year of weekly lessons to be fully prepared, but we have trained students in less time, and some in more time.
Our tutors try to be as accommodating as possible if your child can not make a lesson, and there is a 24 hour cancellation policy that is waived due to illness or family emergency. We do encourage consistency, however, and if a family continually cancels lessons, the child may not be well prepared for his/her Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
The service is usually 1 hour long. If your venue is on a time constraint, we request that you communicate to your tutor or Cantor Barbra so we can adjust the number of prayers & Torah readings accordingly.

The maximum number of aliyot (plural) that I assign is 3.  However, I am flexible.  If your child does not have the time to learn all 3, he/she can chant 1 or 2 aliyot.  If he/she is chanting 3 aliyot, the 1st Aliyah Torah blessings can be assigned to the grandparents.  The 2nd Aliyah Torah blessings are assigned to the parents.  The 3rd Aliyah Torah blessings are assigned to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

If he/she chants 2 aliyot, the 1st Aliyah Torah blessings are assigned to the parents, and the 2nd Aliyah Torah blessings are assigned to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. 

If your child chants 1 aliyah, then the Torah blessings are assigned to just your child. 

In this case there are other honors that the grandparents can do such as presenting your child with his/her tallit (prayer shawl), opening/closing the Torah ark, undressing the Torah, dressing the Torah, lifting the Torah, reading an assigned prayer in English, and/or reciting the HaMotzi over the Challah.

We love family participation.  They can read the Priestly blessing in Hebrew or another assigned reading in Hebrew that has the English translation that another family can read.  They are also welcome to chant a few verses from the Torah.
We provide the tutoring for those students having a meaningful service in our homeland. We have connections with clergy who officiate in Israel as well as Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tour Companies.
I am very flexible and available to conduct services any day of the week which includes Erev Shabbat (Friday night), Shabbat morning, Shabbat afternoon, Havdalah (Shabbat evening), Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon, or Weekday evenings.
Have Torah, will travel. I have a Torah, and a bimah setup which includes a Torah ark and table-top lecterns.
We prefer to have a rehearsal at the venue the week of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah as your child will feel more comfortable practicing in the space beforehand. Rehearsals must be arranged with Cantor Barbra as well as with the venue. And because the rehearsal involves participation by the parents, it is required that the parents, or at least one parent be present at the rehearsal to practice passing the Torah and any other necessary parts of the service..
We provide a state of the art sound system that includes lavalier(body) mics, and a wireless table mic for anyone speaking. We have a script of the service so that when your child is leading a prayer, Cantor Barbra’s volume levels can be turned down so that your child can only be heard with a little support from the Cantor. It is a much smoother, professional service where we are not leaning into or passing around microphones. We also play beautiful Jewish music as people are walking into the room as well as at the end of the service.
Although Cantor Barbra prefers to officiate at each and every Bar/Bat Mitzvah, there are some seasons when her schedule is completely full. In this case, she has several clergy on staff who know her services and will work with your child in the last month of their preparation. Cantor Barbra will still supervise the process from beginning to end and is at the rehearsal to make sure it runs smoothly.
Cantor Barbra has several clergy on staff who can officiate in her place.
Cantor Barbra will officiate in any type of space large or small, as well as a great or least amount of people.
Venmo, zelle, or e-check are preferred methods of payment. Billing for the lessons is done once per month. The tutors get paid immediately before getting paid from the clients. Payment is due on the 25th of the month or a late fee of $15 is charged. A credit card can be kept on file in order to avoid late fees. No extra fees are charged for using a credit card.
A contract is sent for the terms of the lessons as well as for the ceremony fee. A $200 non-refundable deposit is taken towards the ceremony fee at the start of the tutoring process. The final balance is due no later than the date of the final rehearsal, and all balances for the lessons are also due by the date of the final rehearsal.
We tutor in most of northern NJ including Bergen County, Passaic County, Essex County, Union County, Ocean County & Monmouth County. In NY, we tutor in Rockland County, Orange County, & Westchester county. We also provide tutoring remotely for those outside these areas.
We customize and individualize each service according to the family’s desires. Although most of the services follow the Reform liturgy, we can revise the liturgy to fit your family’s traditions.
A service can be held anywhere from a catering hall to a restaurant, a hotel, a private country club, or your living room. Some families prefer their backyards with a tent, which is always a nice touch.
I specialize each service based on the needs & ability of your child as well as your desires. Each service is custom designed for your child and your family, and not from a template.. Once the service is designed, a personalized service booklet is created for you & your guests.
Of course! I have performed services for families with special needs and I have tutors who are qualified in this area of expertise.