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Timeline and Checklist

This checklist and suggested timeline is provided as a guide for planning your B'nei Mitzvah service and celebration. It does not cover educational requirements. Educational requirements and related timelines will be provided by our Education Director and Rabbi Edery, and is individualized for each child as they move through the education process.

Torah Preparation Lisa Sharp
Haftarah Preparation Lisa Sharp
Facility Request & Event Planning Form Beth Shalom Office
Service Outline Rabbi Edery
Speech Rabbi Edery

2 Years Prior

  • In May of a student's 5th Grade year, families are invited to participate in a date-picking lottery, and dates are tentatively scheduled on the master calendar. Within 30 days of the lottery, the first one-third of the B'nei Mitzvah fee ($450) is due to secure your date. Please note: Students must meet Hebrew proficiency requirements before a B'nei Mitzvah date may be chosen!

1-2 Years Prior

  • We will contact you approximately one year before your date to set up an appointment to meet with Rabbi Edery to receive your student's Torah portion.
  • Think about your options and budget. Decide on what kind of celebration you want to have. 
  • Make a tentative guest list (family, friends, classmates, business associates, etc.), and begin to gather mailing addresses.
  • Visit possible venues (hotels, restaurants, party rooms, etc.), and talk with caterers. Your affair can be catered by Beth Shalom Catering and held at Beth Shalom. Past B'nei Mitzvah families make wonderful sources of information.
  • Book your venue. In order to ensure availability for your desired date, this should be done as early as possible.

9-12 Months Prior

  • We will contact you to set up regular learning sessions with Lisa Sharp, Torah tutor. It is important that you pick a day/time that will work for you and your student throughout the process. Both Lisa tutors numerous students at a time and  must keep a tight schedule.  
  • Complete a Facility Request & Event Planning Form, and pay the building use fees if you plan to hold your reception in the building.  This form must be filled out whether you plan to use the building for your party or not.
  • Think about themes and color schemes for your celebration. 
  • Book the photographer, florist, and music if these are in your plans.

6-9 Months Prior

  • Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests. Plan the weekend experience for out-of-town guests. Do you want to plan transportation, meals and/or activities for Friday through Sunday?
  • Review the service outline with the Rabbi. Also, consider your music choices for the service. There is no instrumental accompanist set to play during services. Several Beth Shalom members often participate musically when directly invited and/or contracted to do so by the B'nei Mitzvah families. See the service outline for members that do this routinely, but feel free to invite anyone you would like to include.  

3-6 Months Prior

  • Order invitations, thank-you notes, napkins, kippot/yarmulkes, Tallis, and Tallis bag.
  • Firm up plans with your caterer.
  • Work on schedules, maps, transportation, meal and hotel information, and anything that will need to be mailed to out-of-town guests. Decide if you want to provide this information with invitations or provide it separately.

8-12 Weeks Prior

  • Mail out-of-town invitations. Keep a record of responses. You might want to number the back of the response cards and keep a record of who received which number. This will come in handy if someone forgets to put their name on their response card.
  • Your student's Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a celebration shared by all of our Beth Shalom community, so we ask each student to write a short (one or two paragraphs) introduction of themselves to be published in our monthly newsletter. Students typically mention their interests, school, family, and the topic of their Torah portions. Please be sure to include a picture. The article and photo, as well as any questions, should be emailed to the  office.

6-8 Weeks Prior

  • Mail in-town invitations.
  • Double-check all arrangements.
  • Finalize the service outline, music choices, reading assignments and aliyot. Review your draft of the B'nei Mitzvah program with Rabbi Edery. 

2-6 Weeks Prior

  • Fill out the Aliyah form, and email it to Rabbi Edery. You may also print it out to provide to him the morning of the service.
  • Reconfirm numbers with caterers.
  • Write family speeches.
  • Provide any guests who will be participating in the service with a copy of the text they will be reading. (The complete Siddur/Prayer Book is accessible to all by clicking here). You can also find texts and recordings of Aliyah blessings on the Aliyah page. These can be shared ahead of time with honored guests being called up for an Aliyah.

1-2 Weeks Prior

  • Prepare welcome gifts for out-of-town guests. Include maps and any other information your guests with need for the weekend. 
  • Make place cards and other necessary last-minute items.
  • Make plans to transport children and out-of-town guests from the service to the reception, if needed.

Planning a B'nei Mitzvah takes time and effort. However, it is always a celebration of joy.

Please don't hesitate to contact the Education Director, Rabbi, or our office for any question, big or small. We have done this before, and you can use our experience to help you and save you time.

Mazel Tov! 

Fri, May 24 2024 16 Iyyar 5784