Bar and Bat Mitzvah 101

Coming of age, which happens automatically at age 13 or 12, means that one is obligated to perform the commandments.

Parents' Role in Service

Traditionally, the father recited one blessing during the service, but today, parents are often much more involved.

Parents' Blessing

A bar mitzvah blessing from long ago.

Preparing for Your Child's Bar/Bat Mitzvah

How to step in and step back.

When Parents Are Divorced

How to rise above difference and make the day special for your child.


Guide for Guests

What to expect at a synagogue bar or bat mitzvah service.

Gift Guide

What to get for the bar or bat mitzvah kid in your life.

Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah

This rite represents a spiritual coming of age for adult Jews.

Entering a Synagogue

Tips for the novice shul-goer.

Respect for the Synagogue

We are supposed to feel at home and at ease in synagogue, and yet synagogue should also be set apart as sacred space.


Adult Obligations

Reaching the age of majority was not always a requirement for being called up to the Torah.

What Does Bar Mitzvah Mean?

Being bar/bat mitzvah vs. becoming a bar/bat mitzvah.

The Child's Role in the Service

The defining moment of the ceremony is the child's first aliyah.

Personalizing Through Art

Creating a tallit or designing an invitation can add a meaningful personal dimension.

Converted Children

For converted children, bar/bat mitzvah is a time for affirming their connections with Judaism.


History of Bar/Bat Mitzvah

From the Talmud to the 21st century.

Bar Mitzvah

Originally bar mitzvah meant simply "coming of age." The ceremony developed much later.

Bat Mitzvah

The bat mitzvah ceremony is of relatively recent vintage, with the first American observance in 1922.

First Bat Mitzvah

Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan's daughter's modest break with patriarchal traditions.

Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah

A ceremony created for adults who missed the bar/bat mitzvah experience of adolescence.