Bar/Bat Mitzvah Preparation Timeline

Because children become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah at different points in the year we find it helpful to think in terms of months from the event.  This list draws on the experiences of the staff and parents.

If Your Child Has a Summer Bar/Bat Mitzvah

12 months before Bar/Bat Mitzvah:

  • Family meets with Rabbi Allen to discuss goals
  • Choose Famliy Mitzvah work based on the list
  • Choose student’s Tzedakah project
  • Attend Twin Cities Celebration Showcase sponsored by Sabes JCC (Marriott Minneapolis West) for ideas about planning – once a year – next is January 29, 2012 **LINK NOT YET AVAILABLE **
  • Send out “Save the Date” notices to family and friends. (Email is a good way to notify people)
  • If it is appropriate, select a hotel for out of town guests and reserve rooms  (If your event is in the fall this is a good idea, because of football season, to do this a year in advance.  You need less lead time if it is a spring or early summer event)

8-12 months before Bar/Bat Mitzvah:

6 months before Bar/Bat Mitzvah:

  • Finalize the invitation list
  • Order invitations  (Options include the St. Paul JCC’s “hand and heart”, online invitations, children making invitations that can be copied, or more traditional invitations)
  • Research Party options (popular venues may require up to a year)

4 months before Bar/Bat Mitzvah:

  • Set up a meeting with Sean Murphy who will also contact the house caterer at Beth Jacob for Kiddush and, if appropriate, Friday night dinner. Review options and pricing
  • Purchase tallit, t’fillin, and kippah for your child
  • Book kitchen for baking and select mashgiach
  • If appropriate, book vendors for party

3 months before Bar/Bat Mitzvah:

  • Set up regular meetings with Rabbi Allen
  • Report on family mitzvah work to Rabbi Allen

2 months before Bar/Bat Mitzvah:

  • Assess student’s fluency in all parts of davening and readings
  • Contact Sean Murphy to set up a baking time in the kitchen if you are doing your own baking with friends and family
  • Polish and Rehearse Torah readings, including “Rishon” (the first Torah reading) for weekday services
  • Polish Haftarah and service parts
  • Start D’var Torah work with Rabbi Allen
  • Send out invitations
  • Decide on center-pieces for Kiddush tables if your child wants them
  • If your guests are staying at local hotels arrange for shuttles or transportation

1 month before Bar/Bat Mitzvah:

  • Continue practicing
  • Complete D’var Torah (with practices in sanctuary)
  • Buy paper goods for Shabbat morning Kiddush
  • You will be contacted by a Beth Jacob gabbai to determine aliyot and honors
  • Set up two rehearsals in the sanctuary with Sheila Rutman
  • Set up D’var Torah practice in sanctuary with Rabbi Allen

1 week before Bar/Bat Mitzvah:

  • Rabbi Allen will go over with your child all of the expectations for his/her participation in the morning minyan.
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