Bar & Bat Mitzvah
Coming of age for a Jew, which happens automatically at age 13 for a boy and 12 for a girl, is termed bar and bat mitzvah, that is, obligated to perform the Jewish mitzvot (commandments). The ceremony marking this rite of passage dates back to the fifth century.Read More
ParentsParents' Role in Service
Traditionally, the father recited one blessing during the service, but today, parents are often much more involved.Special Issues for Interfaith Families
Some practical questions to ask as you plan a ceremony with Jewish and non-Jewish family members.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.
GuestsGuide 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.
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.
HistoryHistory 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.