Bar Mitzvah & Bat Mitzvah
The Historical Perspective
Shalom! By the age of twelve, many Jewish boys & girls are busy studying Jewish law. At the age of thirteen (sometimes different for girls), these same youth have an opportunity to formally become part of a religious society and an adult responsible to observe religious law with the rest of their community. Their entry ceremony (Bar Mitzvah for boys, Bat or Bas Mitzvah for girls) is often, but not always, held on the Sabbath shortly after their 13th birthday.
A Bar-Bat Mitzvah celebration (Simcha) often follows the successful completion of the formal religious ceremony where the newly responsible Jewish boy or girl leads a worship service of their congregation by reading or chanting from prescribed passages in the Torah and the Prophets. This declares the individual to be a formal and legal adult within this community. The occasion is truly a celebration of family and friends. It might also offer some families the opportunity to take an extended family retreat in Israel.
Bar & Bat Mitzvah Party Entertainment Seasoned To Your Taste
Similar to wedding receptions, there is no “one right way” to provide entertainment at a Bar-Bat Mitzvah party. Entertainment presentation styles, timelines, games and activities, and optional items like lighting packages, props, etc. can vary greatly from party to party, based on client preferences and budget.
Our Bar-Bat Mitzvah success secret is very simple…we treat your child like they are the most important person in the world. Mazel Tov!
A big part of a good Mitzvah party, at least from the parents perspective, is keeping the kids busy and having fun!
Popular Timeline: Cocktails-hors d’ouevres, Games-dancing for kids, Guests enter, Grand entrance of Family & Bar-Bat Mitzvah Star, Motzi, Toast, Candle lighting ceremony, Dinner, Games or dancing for kids, Mother-Son or Father-Daughter dance, Hora, Games and dancing continue and then the Last dance.
What is the Havdalah?
Also spelled Habdalah or Havdala, is a Jewish ceremony that formally concludes the Shabbat (weekly day of rest) and Yom Tov (Jewish holidays). According to Judaism, the Shabbat ends (and the new week begins) at nightfall, and not at midnight. Therefore, Havdalah is made as soon as three stars are visible in the night sky.
Havdalah is recited over wine or grape juice. On completion of the Shabbat, a candle with more than one wick is used, and spices to commemorate the departure of the “added soul” of the day. On Yom Kippur, a candle is used but not spices.
When the blessing is made on the candles, the custom is to look at their fingernails in the light of the candle, this is done because the candles has to be bright enough to be able to distinguish different currencies by its light, and if one is able to distinguish between ones nails and flesh, one knows that the flame is big enough.
At the conclusion of Havdalah, the candle is extinguished in the leftover wine to demonstrate that this candle was lit solely for the mitzvah of havdalah.
Our Philosophy: “Bar & Bat Mitzvah parties are becoming less formal with more emphasis on having FUN! Mom & Dad will be happy to know we make the Guest of Honor and his/her family members the REAL STARS OF THE SHOW.”
Jewish Bar-Bat Mitzvah Planning Guide
Your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a special day you begin to think about on the day your child is born. It’s thirteen years in the making and it takes planning, planning and more planning! Organization is the key to a memorable mitzvah celebration and planning can actually get underway as early as three years from the actual date. And whether you select a simple reception to celebrate your child’s passage into the rites of Judaism or an elaborate evening affair for 300, the goal is the same. You want a memorable and meaningful event that you and your family will remember for a lifetime.
Hints for Successful Jewish Bar-Bat Mitzvah Planning
2-3 Years Before the Event:
- Contact a synagogue or temple when your child is less than ten years old. Learn about the process and timeframe required to prepare your child for the event. Formal Bar/Bat Mitzvah lessons usually begin one year prior to the scheduled date.
- Decide on the style of the event- one that suits your lifestyle and budget
- Contact potential service providers, caterers and entertainers. Word of mouth is usually the most reliable source for narrowing down your choices. Decide if you want to use a party planner who will coordinate all of the service providers for you.
One Year Before Event:
- Book location, entertainment, photographer/videographer, and party decorator (florist). All will require non- refundable deposits so make sure that you are certain about your choices.
- Select a “theme” and/or color scheme for the event. Include your child in this aspect of the planning- keeping his or her preferences in mind.
- Help your child decide on a community service or bar/bat mitzvah project idea.
6 Months Before Event:
- Develop a guest list with current addresses.
- Select and order invitations. Order thank you notes, direction cards (if needed), and napkins at this time. Always order more invitations than you think you are going to need. Reprints of small quantities can be costly.
- Keep your eyes open for interesting stamps-they add a nice touch to the envelope and reply card.
- Decide on centerpieces for tables and any other decorations. “Sign in boards” are a popular bar/bat mitzvah element and should be ordered at this time (usually through the florist/decorator).
- Choose party favors for guests. These are usually theme and color related and are given to the younger guests at the celebration.
- Arrange out-of-town guest accommodations. Many hotels offer special rates for large blocks of rooms; so inquire in your area.
- Stay in close contact with your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutor to keep abreast of your child’s progress. Keep a calm encouraging attitude towards your child as he or she progresses through the course of study.
- Decide if you will be offering other events throughout the weekend. Many families invite close friends and family to a Friday Evening Shabbat Dinner before the big event and a Sunday brunch.
Three months Before Event:
- Finalize all party selections such as menu, centerpieces, and decorations.
- Make appointments for hair stylists, barbers, and manicurists as needed.
- Order personalized yarmulkes.
Two months before Event:
- Mail invitations
- Create Candle-Lighting Ceremony. Work with your child to ensure that you are writing something that he or she feels comfortable reciting at the big event.
- Coordinate the entertainers and caterers to ensure that “time frames” match. Develop a time-line for the event that includes formalities, horas/dances and food services.
- Encourage your child to practice his or her service out loud.
One month before Event:
- Reconfirm all service providers
- Develop a seating plan
- Coordinate a rehearsal time with your temple. Many temples allow you to video this event in lieu of the actual service.
- Arrange hospitality baskets for out-of-town guests. Include a schedule of events and detailed directions.
- Coordinate out-of-town guest transportation to and from airports and events.
One week before Event:
- Confirm final guest count with caterer. Remember that once you have guaranteed a number, this is what you will be responsible to pay for even if fewer guests show up.
- Adjust seating arrangements
- Pack an “emergency kit” to keep handy-sewing kit, extra makeup, hairbrushes, stockings etc.