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Bar Mitzvah 101

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Bar Mitzvah in Israel

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Let Your Kids Have a Say in the Bar Mitzvah Party

In todayís modern world, various celebrations are being held to mark a young personís entry into adulthood. Itís called a debut in the Western culture but itís called a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah in the Jewish community.

To the Jews, a child reaches maturity at the age of 12 for girls and at the age of 13 for boys. This rite of passage signals the childís acceptance of his new role and responsibilities as a mature individual in accordance with the Jewish law and religion. For this very special occasion, many parents normally throw a big celebration for their children.

Although this event involves a religious service in the synagogue, families in the West often think of a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah as a time to party. They usually prepare for this important celebration a year or several months before the actual date especially when a lot of details are included.

Parents play a vital role in the preparation and celebration of a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah both in the worship service and in the reception party afterwards. Before planning for the fun part of the occasion, they should be involved in helping their children understand their new status in life and guiding them as they learn about the Jewish religion.

While preparing for the Shabbat service, the first adult worship service a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah should attend, parents need to find out in advance the tasks of the celebrant as traditions may vary among different congregations. After getting the requirements, discuss them with your child and assist him or her in making choices for the content and planning of the ceremony.

During this time of study, children need a lot of encouragement and inspiration from their parents and religious leaders. Parents then should make sure to help their children in the proper reading and memorizing of the Torah portions and Haftarah and in making their speeches. Give tips on how to speak clearly without the stage fright and the proper posture.

Let your child understand that he or should needs to do the actual work in order to succeed but you will be there to provide assistance and guidance throughout the process. Making your child feel important is the right step towards boosting his or her confidence. If you have other children, itís best that you let them take part in the process as well so they wonít feel left out.

As for the party aspect, let your child have a say in the planning process. Find out his favorite theme, colors, music and food and consider them in your preparation. Girls are usually more excited to get involved in the do-it-yourself projects such as crafts, party decors and favors. They can provide a big help especially if you are hands on in most parts of the party celebration.

Remember that a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah is a great opportunity for a family celebration hence, itís ideal that apart from involving your child in the planning and preparation, the other members of the family are made aware of the process as well. A family that works together, stays together.

Read more articles on the subject: Planning a Bar Mitzvah

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