It is amazing that the time has flown by so quickly, but it is time to plan the Bar/Bat Mitzvah for that special young person. There are certain things that must be done and it can be easy to get overwhelmed, but with some planning, you can get not only get through it but enjoy the day, too. It can be a great deal beneficial to find a place that specializes in parties for all occasions and can help you make this day perfect.
A Little History
A little background of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah can be helpful for those who may be non-Jewish, but would like to help you plan this religious celebration. A Bar Mitzvah is a rite of passage for a Jewish boy of the age 13. Up until this time, his parents were responsible for his following his Jewish faith. After the ceremony, it is the young man’s responsibility to adhere to the traditional beliefs and ethics of their faith; this is accompanied with the privileges of participating in all the areas of the Jewish faith. It is a common misconception that this ceremony changes a young man into an adult; it is a religious rite ceremony.
A Bat Mitzvah is the religious ceremony that involves a young lady of the age of 12. The ceremony is usually the same for both genders, however with some possible differences. The ceremony varies with the different denominations of the Judaism religion. For example, a majority of Orthodox Jews reject the idea that a woman can read the Torah, in public.
Most Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebrations involve the young lady or young gentleman to read the Torah and or the Haftarah portion at a Shabbet or other service. It may also involve them giving a d’var Torah which includes a discussion of that week’s Torah portion.
Party Planning Questions
There are certain questions that seem to come up when planning this special religious celebration; they include:
1. What do you do first, once you receive the Bar/Bat Mitzvah date? The first thing to do is find out what your synagogue’s policies or guidelines would be, regarding such celebrations. Next discuss the family budget for such a celebration and then book the needed hall and photographer; these are the two things that need advanced notice.
2. Should you plan an evening or afternoon celebration? This is truly up to you and your family. Many people base this decision on how many out of town guests will be attending and the role of food? Also, keep in mind that evening bookings tend to be more expensive then an afternoon affair. Some people plan a simple luncheon for their guests plus the whole congregation, while others will plan a formal evening event that includes close friends and family. Another point to remember is that a Kiddush luncheon or Oneg Shabbat may be expected, on the Friday.
3. How do you help your non-Jewish guests feel comfortable? The best thing to do is to explain how the ceremony works and what is involved, so they do not feel like the outsider. Also, it is best to check the synagogue’s policy to find out if anything is required of visitors; for example, if a kippot is to be worn by all males. Explain to your guests that this would be a sign of respect and not any religious statement.
4. What are some appropriate gifts? Money and gift certificates are very common for all gift giving; Bar/Bat Mitzvahs included. However, if you are looking for something different then you could consider the following:
Religious items, like a menorah
Personalized picture frames
U.S. Savings Bonds
Fine watches or bracelets – engraved with a special message
These are just a few frequently asked questions. There are several decisions that need your attention and it can be overwhelming, so why not contact the people that will ensure to make this day memorable and let them help you with the details, so you can enjoy this important day with your young lady or young man.
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