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Bar Mitzvah 101

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Bar Mitzvah in Israel

Our Bar Mitzvah in Israel website is a free online resource for planning a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah party in Israel

Dress Code for the Bar Mitzvah Event

Being invited to any celebration calls for wearing the appropriate dress. If youíre invited to a bar or bat mitzvah, be sure to know the proper way to dress up by asking friends, researching on the internet or consulting a rabbi. Parents need to teach their children not only social etiquette but the right dress code as well.

There may be two separate celebrations that you need to attend. The first is the Shabbat religious service and the other is the reception party. While these two can be held in one venue such as the synagogue, many parents hold the party in a separate place and time normally in the evening. Whether youíre attending both events or just one of them, itís best to ask what the proper attire would be. Parents should specify the dress requirements on the bar or bat mitzvah invitations to remind the guests.

At the Saturday worship service, dress appropriately as a sign of respect for the holy place and the standards of the congregation. Generally, a semi-formal attire is ideal for this occasion.

For women and girls, they should wear dress, pants or pantsuits keeping in mind the ideal necklines and hemlines. Shul clothes are required by synagogues for females. Parents should remind their teens that although strapless and low-cut dresses are in fashion, they are not suited for religious services. Shoulders must be covered while in the synagogue so shrugs or wraps can be used.

Dress codes for girls may vary among congregations. The Reform denomination, for example, is more flexible. It allows dresses that are knee length and show the shoulders. The Orthodox, on the other hand, requires dresses to be full body length without showing the shoulders.

For men and boys, suits with tie and white shirt as well as dress shoes are the right outfit. Synagogues expect boys to wear sport coats or suits. They can also wear the yarmulke or skullcap and the prayer shawl or tallit if they want. Non-Jews, however, are not allowed to use the tallit as itís only exclusive for Jews based on the Torah commandment.

One important thing to remember in choosing what to wear in a bar or bat mitzvah event is comfort. Wear something that is right for the occasion and at the same time comfortable to on your body.

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