Preparing for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah can be a daunting task. Maybe you are experiencing that now, or your child expressed how stressful it is. Everyone involved may feel stressed.
Stress can be a good thing. It sheds light on the fact that this is a serious event and you want to do it just right.
In order to do it just right (just right will look different for everyone), it requires planning.
It’s important to know all the facts before starting to plan. For example, one does not have to go to Israel to celebrate their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. One is not required to secure a Bar or Bat Mitzvah date at the time of the child’s birth.
I am often asked, how much time is needed to prepare for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. The answer is…
Here a few factors to consider:
What will your child be doing at the ceremony.
Here are a few options: (P.S.-They don’t have to do anything.)
Your child should be involved in this decision. After all, it is their Bar/Bar Mitzvah.
Another factor to consider is a date. Generally boys have their Bar Mitzvah at 13, and girls at 12, but often times, people like to wait. Ask yourselves, do we want it right when you (the child) turns 12/13? Do we want it in the summer? Do we want it on Shabbat or a Sunday? Answering these questions will help set the stage for the big day (and make it less daunting).
The ceremony is the most significant part of the decision making process. Some people have an additional celebration, inviting even more family and friends. While this additional party may have significance in your community or the school your son or daughter attends, it may be helpful, and less duating to think of the two celebrations as individual gatherings. For example, some people have the ceremony locally and then travel to Israel for the party. Additionally, some have the ceremony in Israel and the party locally. Furthermore, some do both locally. We’ll go one step further, both celebrations don’t have to be on the same day, in the same week or even in the same month.
The point is, everything can be tailored to fit your lifestyle, your budget and your family’s dreams.
The absolute first thing that should happen when thinking about a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, is to discuss what Judaism means to you as a family, what it mean to your son or daughter once they turn 13/12 and what aspirations you have for them, as they have the privilege to grow up Jewish.
Check back here, later this week, for some talking points about this important topic.