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Planning a Bar Mitzvah Party

Historically, there was no additional celebration held when a Jewish boy reached the age of 13. The Bar Mitzvah party is a more modern innovation that takes place after the ceremonial part at the synagogue.

It is important to bear in mind that this is a special day for the guest of honour, but their personality should be taken into account when planning the party. Not all teenagers are happy being in the spotlight for the whole of a party. The party is a way of sharing the celebration with family and friends, but can be as large or small as you like. Generally, the party happens in the afternoon or evening of the same day that your child celebrates at the synagogue.

Firstly you need to decide on your venue. This will be led partly by the number of people attending and the type of ambience that you are trying to achieve. Your synagogue may have suitable rooms for hire available, or you may prefer to book a hall or hotel.

The next important thing to plan is the food and drink. If you are hiring a room, then you can provide the food yourself, or you can order catering. Catering can be from one of the supermarket's party services, or you can use outside caterers, depending on what suits best.

Drink also needs to be considered, particularly if you are at a hotel, as you may want to have a deposit behind the bar and have a cash bar afterwards. You need to choose which suits your needs and budget.

You'll also have to decide on a theme and entertainment. These might vary depending on whether your party is mainly aimed at the younger guests, or the adults.

Send your Bar Mitzvah Invitation out to let the guests know they are invited. They can be formal or informal to fit in your theme, and remember to send out far enough in advance to allow for responses to get to you in time for organising catering.

Depending on your choices, you may also want to arrange table decorations, reserve or recommend hotel rooms, arrange transportation, photography, speeches, place cards and more. You have the choice to be as lavish as you wish.

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