Bar/Bat Mitzvah Scheduling
A child becomes Bar/Bat Mitzvah on his/her thirteenth birthday plus one day. All efforts should be made to schedule the public service near that time. Beth Jacob Congregation has established the following fair and workable solution for assigning Bar/Bat Mitzvah dates. The Education and Ritual Committees have endorsed the following formula:
1. Each child is guaranteed the Shabbat corresponding to the parasha (Torah portion) immediately following his/her Hebrew birth date. If there are two children whose Bar/Bat Mitzvah would fall on the same date, the Rabbi, in private consultation with the families, will work towards resolution.
2. Any other date requests will be honored according to availability. If more than one child requests a specific available date, a lottery will take place for the date. This can include Rosh Hodesh, Monday or Thursday morning minyanim. If you are considering a non-Shabbat Bar/Bat Mitzvah date, please discuss this with Rabbi Allen at your earliest convenience.
Beth Jacob Congregation will make Bar/Bat Mitzvah assignments based on the above listed criteria. These assignments are made in late spring of our students’ fifth grade year, and notification letters are sent to the students’ families at that time.
Guidelines for scheduling a Bar or Bat Mitzvah on Selichot or a Festival
There are many options for scheduling your Bar or Bat Mitzvah: on Shabbat morning or Shabbat afternoon, on a Yom Tov or Rosh Chodesh, or at Monday or Thursday morning services.
For Selichot: While a Bar/Bat Mitzvah may be scheduled on Shabbat morning preceding Selichot, it is not appropriate to schedule a Bar/Bat Mitzvah party on Saturday evening (when Selichot is recited).
For Yom Tov: Similarly, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah scheduled for a festival, must ensure that a party does not coincide with the festival. For example, if a Bar/Bat Mitzvah takes place on Shabbat morning, the first day of Sukkot, no party would be held until after sundown of day two, Sunday night. If a Bar/Bat Mitzvah takes place on Shabbat of Hol Hamoed Sukkot or Passover, a party could take place on Saturday evening after Shabbat ends. Any celebration on Passover must be kosher for Passover