With my youngest daughter’s bat mitzvah on the horizon, it’s important to me to remember the meaningfulness behind this milestone. We all get caught up in the details and sometimes forget the sole purpose of this occasion. When I talk to friends about the planning details of our upcoming party, sometimes, I realize that I do not like how it sounds.
The challenge for me is to make this a wonderful family day and weave in as much significance as possible into the celebration.
For my older daughter’s bat mitzvah, I asked the following questions at every crossroad- making decision: ” Is this meaningful?” Does this make her day even more special?” It really helps to contemplate the invitations, the décor, the theme, the DJ’s music and, yes, even the guest list! Do you truly have to invite a distant relative or friend who has never ever met your child?
While gearing up for our own mitzvah, here are some more ideas to add significance and meaning to this special day in your child’s life:
-Is there a torah around town from which you read from as a bar/bat mitzvah? Is it housed at your childhood synagogue? Call the Rabbi and see if you can borrow it.
-Does your child have a passion in art, photography or visual arts? Use their work as part of your decor.
-At a local bar mitzvah, guests noted there was a replica of the Western Wall in Israel. Guests wrote messages to the bar mitzvah boy and put them in between the stones.
-Borrow a parent or grandparent’s yad, kippot or kiddush cup with the idea of adding L’dor V’dor, from generation to generation, into your child’s service.
Event coordinators can also help you come up with significant touches to your child’s special day.
Above all else, I plan to keep the meaning at the forefront and work on not getting caught up in the lighting displays, DJ extras and green screen technology. I’ll let you know how it went in our July, 2014 newsletter!
submitted by: Cheryl Friedenberg, The Mitzvah Bowl co-founder, firstname.lastname@example.org