Things You Need to Know: B’nai Mitzvah Prep

Things you need to know when preparing for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah:

  1. The service has many roles that can be played by family and friends. Some roles are appropriate for non-Jews. Some are not. Your temple should have a policy about this. Ask about this early in the planning process.
  2. Not all synagogues allow non-Jews on the Bema. If you’re not sure of your congregation’s policy on this, ask early in the planning process.
  3. Only Jews can speak for the congregation. This means that a non-Jew participating in the service cannot say a blessing or prayer that represents the congregation as a whole. They can usually do a reading.
  4. You will most likely be responsible for preparing a simple program for the service. In this program, you’ll give the names of the people who will be performing various tasks.
  5. An easy way to know the roles you need people for, is to ask for a sample program early in the planning process.

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