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mitzvah planning tips

Planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah

By | Blog, DIY | 65 Comments

The Bar Mitzvah is a joyous Jewish celebration where the young man is celebrated as he comes into the age of accountability. As a boy turns 13, he is celebrated with this Jewish rite of passage ceremony and is surrounded by his loved ones, family and friends on this special day and this special occasion. The Bar Mitzvah celebration is geared towards the boy while the Bat Mitzvah celebration is geared towards the girl.

Planning the best Bar Mitzvah celebration is going to depend on what the likes or dislikes the honoree may have, the budget for the celebration, where the event will be held and what gifts or accolades will be bestowed upon the honoree.

Choose a Facility

The first thing to do in planning the Bar Mitzvah is to decide on where to hold the party. It may be held at the synagogue, but it’s going to be very important to secure whichever facility well in advance so that you’re assured that you’ll have the best place to celebrate this special time. Most synagogues assign Bar/Bat Mitzvah dates when the child enters fourth grade, so you should have ample time to find and book the venue that will be perfect for you.

Outfit for the Occasion

Purchasing the Bar Mitzvah boy’s suit is almost as much of a rite of passage for the parents as the Bar Mitzvah itself is for the boy. Fortunately, there are still many great clothiers in the area who specialize in this. Of course, you can always go to one of the major formal wear chains or a department store in the mall. Don’t forget that this is a Bar Mitzvah, though, and that there is more involved than just purchasing a suit. Make sure that you secure his first tallis (Jewish prayer shawl) and do this in a sufficient amount of time so there aren’t any surprises as the Bar Mitzvah approaches. Oftentimes parents will order custom yarmulkes that commemorate the day, so remember these too.

Food, Drinks

Food and drinks for a Bar Mitzvah ceremony will likely be party style food, along with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Make sure your reception venue has a liquor license, enough so that they are at least able to serve alcohol as many adults at the reception will want to consume alcoholic beverages. The food will likely consist of culture specific style foods and/or any food items that the Bar Mitzvah honoree likes and wants to have for his special day. In the case with the foods and drinks, it may also be a good idea to secure the services of a caterer or food service company to help with preparing and serving the food, especially if there are going to be a lot of people in attendance.

Ceremony

The Bar Mitzvah ceremony is likely going to be controlled by the Rabbi and Cantor at they synagogue, unless you are doing your own private ceremony at the reception hall, where you will need to rent your own. If that is the case for you, you are in luck in that there are many reputable Rabbis to hire in the area. In either case, do not be shy if there are any specific details you want to make sure are included. It might even be a good idea to design your own short checklist to make sure that everything is done as it should be. Also, check with your Rabbi to make sure the young man’s attire and accessories are correct, placed correctly, and to ensure there are not items missing that will be needed.

Gifts

Gifts for the honoree are up to the invited guests to determine what to give, but you can always give suggestions on items that he would like to receive. For instance, electronic items are always a hit and always a welcomed item. Anything like iPods, iPads, laptop computers, speakers or DVD players are a good idea. The Bar Mitzvah young man would probably also like to get things like video games, gift cards for their favorite game store or cash gifts as well. If you do give the young man cash gifts, be sure to do so in increments of 18. Eighteen is the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew word Chai, which means “life.” Since this is such a defining moment in a young Jewish boy’s life, this is the traditional amount given. Always account for your entire family when giving any gift, because you want to give a gift that reflects how many of you are coming.

Entertainment

The ceremony is over and now it is time to party! What entertainment should you choose for the reception? What kind of reception are you envisioning? Some people just like an elegant luncheon, while others want a bash that rivals Times Square on New Year’s Eve. As with choosing your venue, you have the time to find exactly what is the right fit for you and your family. However, don’t wait too long because if there is a specific band or DJ that you “have to have,” the longer you wait to book the more you run the risk that someone will snatch them up before you. At EBE, we have the right entertainment for every budget. This not only of course includes our talented bands and DJs, but our event enhancements, which are sure to kick your party up a few notches to the next level.

As the newly bestowed Bar Mitzvah honoree is celebrating with his family, friends and loved ones, it’s also worth noting that this is a time of fun and light-hearted celebration as well. After the ceremonial part is over, the partying will begin in earnest and with EBE as your entertainment source, everyone in attendance is sure to have a joyous time.