At its most basic meaning, Kiddush is the reciting of a blessing over wine or grape juice. On Friday evening and Saturday morning, this ritual is performed to remember and sanctify the Shabbat as the holy day of rest. Synagogues will usually serve light refreshments such as cake and gefilte fish with the Kiddush after Shabbat morning services. But for the occasion of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, the celebrating family will often host a much more extravagant Kiddush event.
Depending on how elaborate of an event you are planning will most likely determine what you would decide to do for the Kiddush. It is no mystery that after sitting through a lengthened service that features speeches by many, most guests cannot wait to move into the social hall. Bar and Bat Mitzvah guests have become accustomed to expect much more than little plastic cups filled with grape juice.
Kiddush luncheons tend to resemble the traditional Jewish brunch, the meal that is also most commonly served to break the fast after Yom Kippur. Sometimes Bar Mitzvah services do not wrap up until close to 1 p.m., and by that time your guests may be ready for a more filling meal. Meat luncheon buffets typically offer deli platters, baskets of challah rolls and rye bread, potato salad and coleslaw, and don’t forget pickles. Hot hors d’oeurves such as mini potato knishes may also be passed around.
When it comes to planning a Kiddush luncheon, it is crucial that you work with your synagogue (know its level of Kosher observance) and your caterer. If you prefer a more formal sit-down luncheon instead of a buffet, make sure your social hall has enough room to seat all your guests. Don’t be afraid to come up with an original menu and your caterer should be flexible to meet whatever your needs and requests may be. The Kiddush luncheon is an integral part of the Bar Mitzvah weekend and you know from the moment some guests step foot in the synagogue, they are already guessing the Kiddush menu.