Is a Bar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah Booklet Needed?A bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah celebration is one special moment in a Jewish child’s life that needs careful planning and advanced preparation. Being a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood, both parents and the child need to be fully involved in all aspects of this process. Proper guidance on what to do should be present even before the celebration takes place.
In order to achieve a smooth flow of events, consultation with a rabbi or bar mitzvah coordinator at the synagogue is highly recommended. The rabbi is the right person who can provide the necessary information notably on the religious aspect of the celebration which is far more essential than the after-service event. However, since a consultation is a verbal conversation only with the parent having no way of recording all the important details provided by the rabbi, a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah booklet may be useful in this case.
Some synagogues may provide a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah booklet meant for parents. In fact, many congregations allow the creation of a booklet on this event for use during the service. This is a good way of letting non-Jew guests know about this religious ceremony. Additionally, it can also serve as a keepsake especially if personalized with the celebrant’s name on it. For this purpose, the booklet is normally compiled and made by the family for distribution to members of the congregation and guests. It may be given out by the ushers at the start of the service or inserted in prayer books.
The booklet normally contains the basic information on what a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah is and how it is celebrated. It can have different unique features aimed at relatives, friends, guests and congregants.
- A welcome letter from the celebrant and his or her family.
- A short description of the Shabbat worship service at the synagogue where the family belongs.
- Order or sequence of the service.
- A brief explanation of the meaning of a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah or perhaps an essay by the celebrant on the meaning of this special day to him or her.
- Poems or portions of special readings of the bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah.
- A discussion of the Torah portions or current parasha.
- A list of honors given to the celebrant and father such as an aliyah.
- A list of description of the mitzvoth performed by the bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah.
- Important prayers recited by everybody in attendance during the service.
- Comments or blessings from close relatives.
- Photographs of the bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah.
- Special thanks to people who made the event possible including your rabbi or officiator of the ceremony.
In making this memento, always be creative. Use colored papers or just one single color if you have a theme in mind. Make the fonts readable and use a plain background as much as possible. It would be best as well to use graphics of Jewish religious symbols in every page including the front and back pages.
This booklet will not only make a great souvenir of the celebration but will definitely help other parents who may be preparing for their child’s bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah.
Read more articles on the subject: Planning a Bar Mitzvah