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Booking Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Bar and Bat mitzvahs are very special events at the First Narayever Congregation. Only one bar or bat mitzvah is celebrated on a Shabbat unless a family wants to arrange for siblings to celebrate their bar or bat mitzvah together. Bar and bat mitzvahs are on Shabbat mornings because leading the service with the shul community is an important part of the experience.

In exceptional circumstances the ceremony can be held on a Rosh Chodesh or a Hol Hamoed if it falls on a Sunday. The services and expectations for bar and bat mitzvahs on these dates are the same as for the Sabbath except that a Haftorah is not read and tefilin is worn. It is shul policy to also honour the child on a Shabbat morning with an aliyah and for the family to sponsor a kiddish on that day.

The shul encourages bar and bat mitzvahs as close as possible to the young person’s birthday and has a policy that the Shabbat following the Jewish birthdate of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah will be the date that is initially reserved as of right for the family, unless that date is a Yom Tov. The first Shabbat immediately following the Yom Tov will then be reserved. The family is not bound to book on the reserve date and may consider any other that has not yet been selected as of right.

As a matter of principle, because of the synagogue’s strong belief in promoting community identity and egalitarian principals, both bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies are encouraged to be held any time after the child’s 13th Jewish birthday. Girls, if they wish, however, may have their ceremony when they are 12.

An information meeting is held each year for all parents or guardians of children who will celebrate their bar and bat mitzvahs in the same calendar year. This meeting takes place two years before the year of bar and bat mitzvah, sometime during November or December. The purpose of the meeting is to review the Bar and Bat Mitzvah Program, provide the Bar and Bat Mitzvah information package to parents, answer questions with respect to celebrating this simcha in the shul and begin the process of booking individual dates.

At the Information meeting member families will be asked to complete the Bar and Bat Mitzvah booking form with the birth date of the young person, to determine the “reserved date”, and provide other dates that they may be interested in booking. Following the information meeting there will be a period of one month for the Bar and Bat Mitzvah Chair to receive other booking inquiries and, if necessary, resolve conflicts when more than one family prefers the same date or has the same reserved date.

Bar and Bat Mitzvah Contract

Once the 30 day period has passed, the family will receive a contract noting the date of the bar or bat mitzvah and indicating that the family agrees to the requirements set out in these guidelines. The contract also indicates that the family agrees to sponsor the kiddush on the day of the simcha. This contract must be returned together with the booking fee determined by the Board. The bar and bat mitzvah date will be confirmed once both the signed contract and booking fee are received by the shul.

The booking fee is $450.00. Members who have paid this fee shall be protected from any fee increases.

Delaying the Bar or Bat Mitzvah Booking

Families who do not book a bar or bat mitzvah at the Information meeting or within the initial booking period, may not have the option of booking the first Shabbat immediately following the Hebrew birth date. Families may contact the Bar and Bat Mitzvah Chair to book a date that is still available. Contact information is available at the Synagogue Office.

Changing Dates

Requests for a change of date after its confirmation will be considered for dates that are still available. A change of date will require a new contract to confirm the new date.

If more than one family requests a change to the same date and that date is open, then the assignment will be to the family who makes the request first. The Bar and Bat Mitzvah Chair will help resolve any issues that arise regarding date assignments.

Wed, June 19 2019 16 Sivan 5779