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 b'nai 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
Hints for Successful Jewish Bar-Bat Mitzvah Planning
2-3 Years Before the Event:
1. 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.
2. Decide on the style of the event- one that suits your lifestyle
3. 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:
1. 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.
2. Select a "theme" and/or color scheme for the event. Include your
child in this aspect of the planning- keeping his or her preferences
3. Help your child decide on a community service or bar/bat mitzvah
project idea. Many families find that the meaningfulness of the event
is enhanced when a "tzedakah" project is established.
It's the ultimate personal touch.
Put the Mitzvah
Honor's name up in lights!
To find out how
6 Months Before Event:
1. Develop a guest list with current addresses.
2. Select and order invitations. Order thank you notes, direction
cards (if needed), napkins and guest towels at this time. Always
order more invitations than you think you are going to need. Reprints
of small quantities can be costly.
3. Keep your eyes open for interesting stamps-they add a nice touch
to the envelope and reply card.
4. 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).
5. Choose party favors for guests. These are usually theme and color
related and are given to the younger guests at the celebration.
6. Arrange out-of-town guest accommodations . Many hotels offer
special rates for large blocks of rooms; so inquire in your area.
7. 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.
8. 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.
"Our daughter Bekah's Bat
Mitzvah party would not have been the fantastic and
memorable event it was without Pete's wonderful and
intuitive DJ & MC services. The kids danced all night to
great songs and took part in fabulous games and contests
with Michelle, the fun and games lady. The parents relaxed
and enjoyed, knowing the kids were in very capable hands. We
highly recommend Pete!"
The Diamond-Bier Family,
Spencer's Bar Mitzvah
"The Danny Miller Experience"
Three months Before Event:
1. Finalize all party selections such as menu, centerpieces, and
2. Make appointments for hair stylists, barbers, and manicurists as
3. Order personalized yarmulkes.
Two months before Event:
1. Mail invitations- number the back of the response cards to
correspond to your guest list to ensure accuracy.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Encourage your child to practice his or her service out loud.
One month before Event:
1. Reconfirm all service providers
2. Develop a seating plan
3. Coordinate a rehearsal time with your temple. Many temples allow
you to video this event in lieu of the actual service.
4. Arrange hospitality baskets for out-of-town guests. Include a
schedule of events and detailed directions.
5. Coordinate out-of-town guest transportation to and from airports
Add Energy to the Party with a
Dance Floor Light Show!
One week before Event:
1. 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.
2. Adjust seating arrangements
3. Pack an "emergency kit" to keep handy-sewing kit, extra makeup,
hairbrushes, stockings etc.
Alena Naimark's Bat
Mitzvah Page 2 •
Mitzvah Page 3