The B'nei Mitzvah service is so spiritually fulfilling. It symbolizes your teenager's transformation from child to adult in the eyes of our faith. When B'nei Mitzvah recite the blessings over the Torah, they are affirming that they are old enough to be responsible for all that is being passed to them - our traditions, rituals, teachings, and culture - and that they will uphold and, in turn, pass all of them to the next generation. This moment is celebrated at Washington Hebrew when a young person reads from the Torah for the first time publicly during Shabbat services on a Saturday morning or evening. The B'nei Mitzvah also lead some of the prayers, read from the Haftarah (the books of the Prophets), and share their thoughts regarding the Torah portion and its connection to our lives through a d'var Torah (words of Torah). This is truly a Shehechiyanu moment! Mazel tov!
The ceremony around becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is relatively recent in Jewish history. While in the Talmud the phrase bar mitzvah is used to indicate a boy reaching majority age, it is not until around the 15th century that a ceremony took place in the synagogue to celebrate such an event.