This post offers a basic checklist to assist in preparing for the religious aspects of a traditional Bar Mitzvah celebration, from choosing a date and coordinating with the synagogue to purchasing tefillin and tallit and setting up a learning schedule. Although this list is based on Orthodox tradition, it can be edited to reflect the needs of each family for both Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations. Bar-Mitzvah.org is an excellent resource for all traditional Bar Mitzvah planning needs, especially for Orthodox Hebrew speakers based in Israel.
- The Bar-Mitzva boy’s Hebrew birthday and his Bar-Mitzvah date have been determined.
- The Tefillin has been purchased.
- The Tallit has been purchased (if that is your custom).
- The Synagogue where the Bar-Mitzvah service will be held has been chosen and contacted to confirm the date.
- The Bar-Mitzvah boy has met the Synagogue Rabbi and/or person in charge of organizing the prayer service (Gabbai) to discuss his role in the service on his Bar-Mitzvah day.
- The Bar-Mitzvah boy has set up a schedule for what and when he needs to prepare for his Bar-Mitzvah, including the Torah and Haftorah Readings, Blessings and Prayers, and/or speech.
- A guest list has been compiled.
- The party has been organized including: organizing a Kiddush; menu, service, cleanup, booking a hall or hotel, arranging a menu with a caterer, sending out invitations, arranging a photographer, arranging music, coordinating decorations and/or flowers, arranging place cards, speakers, and/or entertainment for the party, arranging copies of the “Grace After Meals” (Birkonim) and/or gifts for the guests.
- Bar-Mitzvah clothes shopping has been completed
- Candy for the Synagogue service has been purchased.
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