Prepare for a Bat or Bar Mitzvah

A Memorize the Torah For a Bar or Bat Mitzvah can be the most meaningful spiritual time in a Jewish adolescent's life, however it is often one of the most stressful. Between learning the Torah portion and planning the reception, oftentimes the Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidate loses sight of what a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is all about.


  1. Know what a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is and isn't.
    • A Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a time to reflect on your spiritual self and find God.
    • A Bar/Bat Mitzvah is an acceptance of more responsibility.
    • A Bar/Bat Mitzvah is the time you become responsible for your own actions.
    • A Bar/Bat Mitzvah is an Make Agreements You Can Keep to continue your Jewish education.
    • A Bar/Bat Mitzvah isn't the end or goal of your Study Torah
    • A Bar/Bat Mitzvah isn't just about the party.
    • A Bar/Bat Mitzvah isn't a money-making opportunity.
  2. Study Hebrew. Don't start learning Hebrew the year before your Bar/Bat Mitzvah, it should be a long process, usually starting when you are very young, in kindergarten or first grade. If its too late for that, you have some catching up to do. Learning Hebrew should be your goal, not just knowing enough for your Torah portion. You should be able to read your portion, not recite it from memory.
  3. Learn About Orthodox Judaism. If one is available, go to religious school and attend it as if it were a regular school. In order to fully appreciate your Bar/Bat Mitzvah, you need to understand the culture you are a part of. Next time you go to a Passover Seder, really listen to what is being said and ask questions. Join in the discussion, and add your insights to what the Haggadah is talking about. When you shake the Lulav and Etrog, ask your rabbi why you are shaking it in each direction.
  4. Ask questions. One of the things that makes Judaism unique is that you are encouraged to ask questions. Take advantage of this. Don't just accept what your rabbi tells you, ask him/her why. Asking questions is the key to spiritual maturity. It shows you won't just believe something because a rabbi says it.
  5. Study Torah. Study Torah contains all of the teachings and rituals of Jewish culture. You don't have to memorize it or even be able to quote it, you just have to read it and understand what it's saying.
  6. Perform Mitzvot. Mitzvot translates as "commandment" and it usually refers to a Jew's obligation to G-d to help others. A mitzvah can be something as small as holding the door open for someone at the library or as large as starting your own organization to feed the hungry. Doing mitzvot shows G-d that you are responsible and are ready to take on the responsibilities of becoming a Enjoy Attending a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
  7. Set a date for your ceremony. Make sure you set the date at least a year in advance. You will need at least that much time to fully prepare for the ceremony and out-of-town guests will need to know the date early in order to make plans to attend. Usually the date is around the time of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah's birthday (13 for a boy and 12 or 13 for a girl depending on your synagogue), but it doesn't have to be. Choose a date when you are least busy, that might be after school is out or during a break, but be warned that these dates are often the first to be grabbed and some guests may be on vacation. You will be very busy about 2 weeks before the ceremony solidifying your plans, so make sure you will have time.
  8. Choose your Memorize the Torah For a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. The weekly portion is often very long, and often you will only be required to learn some of it. Choose a section that is interesting to you.
  9. Start your Mitzvah project. While you should do mitzvahs every day, this one is special. It should be about something you feel truly passionate about. You should consider your Bar/Bat Mitzvah project a part of tikkun olam, repairing the world. Try to do something big that will make a major Help Your Community Be a Safer One.
  10. Discuss your portion with your rabbi. Your rabbi will have many interesting insights to add and will probably spark your own ideas. Don't be afraid to share them, rabbis love it when young people take an interest in Torah and will be happy to discuss it with you.
  11. Go to Shabbat services. Going to services is a good idea anyway, but when you're preparing for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, it's even more imperative. You need to be familiar with the prayers and the "stage directions" because you will be doing them yourself during your Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Shabbat services will also give you an opportunity to connect with G-d.
  12. Begin studying your Memorize the Torah For a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. When you study, it's best to start with a sheet including vowels, unless you speak Hebrew fluently. If you read or chant it enough, it will become second nature and you'll be able to read the real thing without vowels. Once you are comfortable with the portion, however, make sure you practice with a facsimile of the Torah you are reading so you can get used to the unique handwriting of the scribe who created the Torah. Reading from a sheet that looks similar will also help to calm your nerves about the portion.
  13. Know what your portion means. In your eagerness to learn your portion, it's sometimes necessary to slow down and take a look at what you're actually reading. Try to get to the point where you can Translate a wikiHow Article as you read and actually know what the words mean. It's an amazing experience when you can read and understand your portion as if it were in your Distinguish Foreign Students of English from Native Speakers by the Style of Their Writing.
  14. Begin to think about your party. After you're on the right track with your portion, it's time to think about the fun part: the reception. Your reception can be anything you want, from a Prepare and Dress for a Formal Event with a DJ and dancing, to a less informal basketball game. Whatever it is, try to pick something that you can invite all of your guests to. That means choosing something that isn't too expensive. If you leave some guests out, you might end up in more drama than you can even imagine.
  15. Create a Successful Party Invitation. As soon as you know how many people you can accommodate, send out your Bar Mitzvah Invitations ([1]) so your guests will save the date. Spend some time on the invitations and make them look nice.
  16. Think about your speech. It is customary for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidate to give a speech to the Make Your Church Warmer. It can be about pretty much whatever you want, so long as it relates back to your Torah portion. You might want to include an informal Get Free Promo Cds from Record Companies for your Mitzvah project, but you don't have to.
  17. Study the service as a whole. By about three months before the date, you should know your Torah portion. You'll have to be able to do the whole service on the real day, so you need to be very familiar with it. If there are any Practice and Memorize Prayers for Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah you are stuck on, ask for help from your rabbi or religious school teacher.
  18. Study your Haftorah portion. The Haftorah portion is usually read at some point after the Memorize the Torah For a Bar or Bat Mitzvah and is from the Books of Prophets. The tropes are very different from the ones in your Torah portion, so you will need to devote time to study them. Make sure you practice your Torah portion as well or you might accidentally start singing your Torah portion with Haftorah tropes!
  19. Choose who will do your Aliyahs. Having an Aliyah is a great honor so you should choose your Olehs (people who have an Aliyah) well. Usually, you will do the last Aliyah, and there will be six other Aliyahs to give out. The only rule is that the Olehs must be Jewish and must be of age (had their Bar/Bat Mitzvah). Remember this includes people who didn't have the actual ceremony, assuming they are over thirteen for Look and Feel Stylish (for Men) and twelve for women.
  20. Work on your service project. A few months before your ceremony, you need to have started your Act at a Bar or Bat Mitzvah project. Earlier is better, but a few months is plenty of time. It doesn't have to finish until after your Plan a Bar Mitzvah, but you need to put some work into it now.
  21. Finalize reception plans. About a month before your Have a Best Friend Ceremony, make sure you have reservations wherever you plan on celebrating. You should also pick outAdd Decorations to a Teen Girl's Room and hire any personnel you might need such as a DJ. Ideally, you should make your reservations long in advance so you aren't closed out.
  22. Have a rehearsal. It will be easier for you to sleep the night before if you have a rehearsal a few days before. If possible, have everyone who has a part there, even if it's just a reading. You'll get all of the rough edges smoothed now and your nerves will be calmed during the real thing knowing you've done it before.
  23. Do something fun. The Friday before, do something fun before going to Shul. Studying at this point is futile, you should already know the service backwards and forwards. Studying the night before is the equivalent of cramming for a standardized test the night before; it's so broad and complex that you will probably lose more information than you retain.
  24. Enjoy Yourself The entire ceremony should be fun. Don't let nerves stress you out too much, or you'll regret it later. You'll be fine, you've been preparing for about a year now, and with all of that preparation, there's no way anything will go wrong!


  • Send invitations to out of town relatives as soon as you can. It will be harder for them to attend than your friends and relatives that live nearby, so giving them plenty of time to make plans will give you a better attendance rate.
  • Be sure to start early, the more time you put into it early, the easier it will be later on.
  • Only invite as many people as you can accommodate. Don't invite a few more just in case some can't come and don't send out more if some people decline your invitation. If you invite too many people and too many come, you'll end up scrambling at the end. If you send out a "second string" of invitations, you'll be found out eventually, and most people would be highly offended to know that they were only invited because someone couldn't come.

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