Bar & Bat Mitzvah

Bar/Bat Mitzvah is an important time in the life of a family and a congregation. For a child this moment represents a significant step on the road to adult responsibilities. For a family, this is a celebration of their child's coming of age in the Jewish community and an acknowledgement of reverence for generations of Jews past and hopes for generations to come. For the community it is an opportunity to bear witness to the power of our tradition and to truly embrace, in joy and faith, a new young adult.

The Temple Israel Bar/Bat Mitzvah Online Guide for Families is offered as an aid to make the experience of your approaching simha more meaningful to you. Since it contains the very latest information, please read it thoroughly, even if you have had an older child as a previous Bar/Bat Mitzvah, as some of the practices of Temple Israel may have changed. As your child's Bat/Bat Mitzvah day draws closer, you should consult this guide periodically to help you in your planning.

The process of preparing to become Bar/Bat Mitzvah involves the individual child on one level and the entire family on another. In the broadest sense, preparation for this day began years ago with the creation of a Jewish atmosphere in your home, with commitments to a Jewish way of life and Jewish education and through active affiliation with a synagogue.

Our clergy, staff, and the entire Temple Israel family extend to you and your family the traditional benediction: May you be privileged to rear your child "l'Torah, l'huppah, ul'ma'asim tovim," to the love of learning, to the joys of marriage, and to the satisfactions of a life spent performing good deeds.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Guide

INTRO Letter from Temple Israel 

START Timeline 

ONE Setting a Date 

TWO Educational Preparation & Religious Requirements 

THREE Workshops with the Rabbi, Cantor & Education Director 

FOUR The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Service 

FIVE Spiritual Preparation  

SIX D'var Torah Guidelines 

SEVEN Mitzvah Project & Tz'dakkah Ideas  

EIGHT Bar/Bat Mitzvah Day & After Your Celebration 

NINE The Rules of Shabbat 

TEN Simha PlanningSanctuary, Invitations, Inviting Your Child's Friends, Gifts & Gratitude   

ELEVEN Kiddush 

TWELVE The Celebration – Facilities Information & Financial Responsibilities 
 

Printable Resources

Download and print these helpful PDF forms and other information pages. Please note the Ritual Honors Request Form is required.

Really Helpful Printable Checklist: A handy list to help you stay organized and on target.

Parents' Blessings: It is customary for the parents to bless their children on the bima in Hebrew and/or in English. 

Torah Blessings: For you and your guests honor with this aliyah, the same sheet they'll see when they're called up to the bima.

Hagbah: Instructions for lifting the Torah. 

Ritual Honors Request Form: This form lists the various aliyot (honors) available to your family. Print, complete, and return this form to the office.  

Sample Bat Mitzvah Program: An example of how one family helped guide their guests through their daughter's bat mitzvah service.

Berger Hall Rental Floor Diagram: Use this page to design the floor plan for your simha celebration.  

Founders' Hall Rental Floor Diagram: Use this page to design the floor plan for your simha celebration.

Tree of Life Order Form: Honor your child and this joyous occasion with a commemorative leaf on the beautiful Tree of Life sculpture which hangs outside Founders' Hall. 

Directions to Temple Israel (2 per page): Directions to Temple Israel set up two per page (for invitations, etc.).  

Directions to Temple Israel (3 per page): Directions to Temple Israel set up three on a page (for business envelopes, etc.).