Decision Making Time
There is only one Bar Mitzvah boy but plenty of supporting cast at the celebration - parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, and others. It could be that your sister from out of town would like to invite a close friend. Maybe Dad thinks that it would be better to have the Bar-Mitzvah in a hotel, but Mom wouldn't even consider it... For this, as well as any celebration, it is advisable to sit down and coordinate the plans. Ideally, each member of the family should have the opportunity to take part in the planning stage of the Bar-Mitzvah.
The following is a list of some of the topics that might be discussed or considered:
* When and where to order the Tefillin (and the Tallit if is your custom) for the Bar-Mitzvah boy.
* What parts of the Torah and/or the Haftorah portion the Bar-Mitzvah boy will read on the day of his Bar-Mitzvah? This should also include a plan or schedule for learning and reviewing the Torah Portions well ahead of the Bar-Mitzvah day.
* Consideration of the Bar-Mitzvah boy’s participation in other parts of the Prayer Service, andor preparing for a Bar-Mitzvah speech (“Drasha”). This also involves a schedule for learning and reviewing ahead of the Bar-Mitzvah day.
* Consideration of when and with what to honor other family members and friends with regard to participation in the Bar-Mitzvah Service.
* Consideration of what type of party or other celebration fits your style and budget, and where you would want it to be held (synagogue, hotel, catering hall, etc...)
* Compellation of a guest list.
* Ordering of invitations and organizing responses.
* Consideration of other possible party enhancers such as music, photography or video services, or Bar-Mitzvah party favors.
* Organization of speeches or special presentations (such as a power-point presentation) in honor of the Bar-Mitzvah boy.
* Budgeting of time and money to shop for clothes or other items in honor of the special day.
In short, there are many arrangements to be made. In most cases it is
wise to consider delegating the various responsibilities. Also,
especially if this is your first Bar-Mitzvah, it is a good idea to ask
around for suggestions. People that attend your synagogue may have
some tried and tested ideas that could also work well for you.