A Mitzvah Celebration for Everyone

Posted on by Jeanne Woodyard

Should I bring a gift? Must I wear a yarmulke? Should I participate in prayer or song? What is the meaning behind such a celebration?  Today we’ll explore the meaning of a Mitzvah celebration.

While this momentous coming-of-age life event is well understood in the Jewish community, the Bar/Bat mitzvah celebration is much less widely known and understood amongst non-Jews. If your Bar mitzvah guest list includes non-Jewish invitees, preparing them with details and common expectations for this sacred event can greatly help reduce any apprehension or confusion they may be experiencing.

Tip One: Be Explicit
Begin with a brief explanation of the tradition and its significance in Jewish culture. It can be as simple as, “According to Jewish faith, a boy at the age of 13 and a girl at the age of 12, become responsible for their own actions — and the Bar/Bat mitzvah is a celebration of this major life event.” Also inform guests of attire expectations.

Tip Two: Etiquette Expectations
Next be sure to explain proper etiquette. Every synagogue differs in their specific expectations, so it’s best to ask your rabbi about the specific rules or policies that will apply to your event. For example, some places require all male visitors—including non-Jewish guests—to wear kippot as a sign of respect. Guests may also be surprised to know that they could be required to sit away from their significant other or family members.

Tip Three: To Participate or Not
Non-Jewish guests typically participate by attending, observing, and following the service. Non-ritual honors are sometimes afforded to close friends or relatives, but again this differs by synagogue. When in doubt, consult with your rabbi.

Tip Four: It’s a Party!
Let guests know that the after-service celebration is just that — a birthday celebration. Advise them to bring their dancing shoes and be ready to have a whole lot of fun.

Looking for A Bar/Bat Mitzvah Invitation?
If you’re in search of the perfect invitation, browse our huge selection of budget-friendly Bar and Bat Mitzvah invitations. If you need any assistance, please let us know! We’d love to help you find the perfect card for your celebration.

Can’t find one that fits just right? Our custom invitation designers can completely customize your invitation to show off your Bar or Bat’s individuality and style — all at a reasonable price that will fit your budget.

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