Bar Mitzvah in JerusalemBar-Mitzvah in Jerusalem – Memories that last a lifetime
Is there an upcoming bar-mitzvah in your family? Mazal Tov! Now is the time to start planning the perfect event to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime occasion. According to Jewish tradition, your son's 13th birthday marks his transition from childhood to adulthood as he matures and becomes capable of taking on more and more responsibilities. The momentous occasion is commemorated with several Jewish rituals such as reading the weekly Torah portion and donning tallis and tefillin. And what better place is there to celebrate than in Jerusalem?
Navigating the maze of possibilities
But for many people in Israel and abroad, planning a bar-mitzvah in Jerusalem can be an intimidating experience. There are so many questions to ask and decisions to make. How exactly does the ceremony work? Who do I contact to coordinate it? How can I make the event as meaningful as possible? Where can we eat afterwards? What other activities can I incorporate into the day? Families invest so much time and effort in planning the perfect day, and are often disappointed when the choices that they make fail to meet their expectations.
We're here for you
Here at GoJerusalem, the largest and longest-serving online Jerusalem tourism portal, we want you to get the most out of your special day and make it an unforgettable experience. That's why we're here to help you navigate the dizzying selection of venues, restaurants and activities. We maintain close contact with the best tourism and entertainment enterprises in Jerusalem. Our years of experience and familiarity with the local market, suppliers and entertainers will help you make the best decisions to suit your preferences, style and budget.
So how does it really work?
Dozens of families flock to the Western Wall each Monday and Thursday, when the weekly Torah portion is traditionally read during the morning prayer service. Some families enter the Old City through Dung Gate and walk towards the Kotel escorted by trumpets and musicians. Others arrive from the Jewish Quarter and enjoy a breathtaking view of the Western Wall and the Temple Mount as they descend. Once the family and guests reach the Wall, morning prayer services begin and the bar-mitzvah boy is called up to read from the Torah for the first time, followed by singing and dancing. You can even order an elegant certificate engraved with the bar-mitzvah boy's name and signed by the official Kotel rabbi from the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
Some important information
• Prayer services require a quorum of men. Try to have at least ten men in your group or join up with another group when you arrive.
• Torah scrolls can be found on the far left side of the men's section. Bring them over to the right so that the women in the family can be part of the ceremony.
• Three people are called up to the Torah on weekdays and the bar-mitzvah boy is usually the third
• Try to bring your own tallis and tefillin from home. If you don't you can borrow a set from the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
Food and entertainment
After the ceremony, refreshments can be served near Hagai St., not far from the Western Wall. It is strictly forbidden to set up tables on the plaza itself. There is also a vast selection of restaurants to choose from inside and outside of the Old City. You'll find all kinds of gourmet meat restaurants – Italian, Mediterranean, French and more, as well as dairy-style restaurants and cafés. Many restaurants can be entirely or partially booked for private events.
Other activities and attractions can make the day even more meaningful. Our selection includes tours of ancient synagogues in the Old City, tours of the Davidson Center and the Western Wall Tunnels, actors who will accompany your group and perform and entertain during the day, and much more.
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