Alec Rochman’s Personalized Bar Mitzvah Page

Alec, use this page 3-4 times each week to prepare for your Bar Mitzvah. To ensure simcha success, please use the tools and downloadable items provided here to learn and practice your training assignments between lessons. For questions, e-mail me at or call/text me at 613-327-3984. It is your responsibility to check this page to ensure it’s working properly right after each lesson, and let me know if there’s a problem right away.

Click here to confirm you’ve read the entire handbook (required).

Bar Mitzvah Date: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2023, 9:00am
PARASHAT B’REISHIT, Haftara Machar-Chodesh
29 Tishrei, , 5784

Tutoring Schedule – Starting June 15, 2023: Thursdays, 5:00-5:20pm in Cantor Green’s office @ KBI.

Fr, Jun 2, 2023


Intro to B’nei Mitzvah Process

Intro to Webpage

Goal Setting

Lesson Time

STUDY METHOD (always have your printouts/pages in front of you)

1. In your first homework session, Listen to the assigned audio files, each phrase separately, at least 15 times each. Let it sink in! Best practice is to listen a couple more times in a second sitting before trying to sing along.

2. Sing along with the audio files many times until it is identical, smooth and confident. If there are glitches, use the slider to “rewind” and review a word or two at a time until identical. You’ll know you’re ready for step 3 when the audio recording feels too slow or is ‘holding you back’.

3. Sing the whole assignment without the audio file (as you will in your next lesson).

Use this approach every week, and knock my socks off with how well you know it!

AND, 4. every week, you MUST review at least once, everything learned to date, and FIX any glitches.

Th, Jun 15


Write name, phone number, and email address on BM folder (provided)

Prepare Blessing Before and After Torah reading


Smooth out Blessings Before and After Torah Reading (PDF | MP3 – Before | MP3 – After)

Learn Torah Trope like a song (the whole sheet) exactly like the audio file. (PDF | Torah Trope)

Th, Jun 22


Review Torah blessings

Review Torah Trope

Prepare Maftir B’reishit

Learn entire Maftir for next week — a big challenge but will be a good example of the pace we’ll need to keep up to complete the entire haftara of 25 verses plus the blessings before and after the haftara. If this is too much, we will discuss doing a subsection of the haftara on your bar mitzvah — that’s okay to do, especially given the short amount of time remaining — 3 months and 3 week.
Th, Jun 29




Review Maftir

Prepare Haftara trope

Learn Haftara Trope like you did for Torah Trope. Same sheet, slightly different music. (PDF | Haftara Trope)

If you’re able to also learn the blessing before the Haftara, that would be really great! (PDF | MP3)

Th, July 6


Review Maftir

Review Haftara Trope

Review Blessing before Haftara

Prepare Haftara first 2-3 p’sukim

Learn Haftara 20:18-20. Please try to use the homework technique above, with my audio files, so that you learn one consistent way and essentially memorize it.
We, July 12


Review Haftara to date, including blessing

Prepare Haftara 20:21, first half, up to omar lana-ar.

1. Haftara 20:21, first half, up to omar lana-ar

2. Go back and use the homework technique to finish learning verses 18-20 so you can sing it like you’ve been singing it since you were 3 years old! It should roll off your tongue, with proper accents on the troped-syllables and correct notes.

Th July 20


Review Haftara to date

Decide if we’re doing more haftara or switching over to Blessings after Haftara and coming back to Haftara later as time allows. For clarity, at some point soon, we would be stopping Haftara learning and switching to the blessings anyway, because of time.

1. Learn Haftara v30-33

2. Go back and make the material on p 1 and 2 smoother.

Tu, July 25



Review Haftara up to 20:33 for smoothness and familiarity

Prepare Haftara 20:34-36

Learn Haftara 20:34-36

Start listening to the first blessing (of 4) after the Haftara (PDF | Audio: Blessing 1)

Th, Aug 3


Review Haftara up to the end of verse 35. That will be our end point (barring more time after the Haftara blessings. Review Haftara for smoothness up to verse 35. Keep repeating and repeating so you get more and more smooth and confident.
Th, Aug 10


Prepare Blessing 1 & 2 after haftara

Review Haftara from 20:29 to 20:35.

Work on and smooth out blessings 1 and 2 after the haftara using CJG’s audio file.

Go back to Haftara smoothing. 20:26-35 this week.

Th, Aug 24


Review Blessings 1 and 2 after haftara

Prepare Blessings 3 and 4 after haftara

Review Haftara 20:26-35

Smooth out blessings 3 and 4 after haftara
Th, Aug 31 NO LESSON – CJG VACATION Keep smoothing out 3 and 4 after haftara

Make sure you work on smoothing your haftara to date. Do 10-15 repetitions of everything.

Th, Sep 7


Review all 4 blessings after haftara

Work on smoothing out Haftara to date (up to v36) – work on p 2 and 3

Smooth out Page 4 of Haftara
Th, Sep 14


Review Haftara from p3, making sure page 4 is smooth

Review blessings 3 and 4 after haftara

Keep smoothing out page 4 of haftara

Smooth out blessings 3 and 4 after haftara. Use audio file to make sure you’re singing something “real”, not “guessed”. It’ll sound more confident and familiar to the congregation.

Reach out to Rabbi Frydman-Kohl to arrange for D’var Torah meetings.

Th, Sep 21



Review Haftara from page 4

Review all 4 blessing after Haftara

Time to listen to CJG audio files to get much smoother at haftara. From page 3 to end.
Th, Sep 28


Review Haftara from p3 to end

Review 4 blessings after haftara

This week when you review, try to not repeat parts of words. To do this, try looking ahead a word or two and “prepare your brain” for what comes next. That might require you to go a little slower. If you start a word with a syllable – you’re probably correct, so rather than go back and re-sing that, just keep going with the next syllable.
Th, Oct 5


Review Whole Haftara with blessings
Th, Oct 12

7:15am Tallit/T’filin with CJG

7:30 Shacharit (with you first aliya)

8:30 Breakfast

9:50 Full Runthrough on Bimah

_____________ ____________________

Downloads (click to open, right-click to save to your computer)

Torah/Haftara Trope Sheet (PDF | Torah Trope | Haftara Trope)

Blessings Before and After Torah Reading (PDF | MP3 – Before | MP3 – After)

Maftir B’reishit – All in Gen. Chapter 6 (PDF | MP3)

5 – 0:00 6 – 0:21 7 – 0:36 8 – 1:06

Torah Service (PDF)

Haftara Shabbat Machar Chodesh (Erev Rosh Chodesh) – All in 1 Samuel, Chapter 20 (PDF | MP3)

18 – 0:00 19 – 0:17 20 – 0:44 21 – 0:59 22 – 1:44 23 – 2:05 24 – 2:27
25 – 2:48 26 – 3:25 27 – 3:51 28 – 4:29 29 – 4:48 30 – 5:36 31 – 6:10
32 – 6:43 33 – 7:02 34 – 7:30 35 – 7:58 36 – 8:17 37 – 8:45 38 – 9:13
39 – 9:40 40 – 9:56 41 – 10:16 42 – 10:59

Blessings after Haftara (PDF | Audio: Blessing 1 | 2 | 3 | 4)

Goals in order of priority

Blessings before and after Torah reading – DONE

Torah Trope – DONE, noting Alec was relying on past learning of it with Miriam, not so much on the audio files I provided.

Maftir aliya – DONE (learned with Myriam)

Haftara Trope –

Haftara Blessing –

Haftara –

Blessings after Haftara –

D’var Torah (with Rabbi Frydman Kohl) – Ball in family’s court to arrange meeting with Rav Baruch.

Other items as time allows: Haftara (noting it’s machar chodesh!); Other Torah aliyot; Musaf; Hallel