A bar/bat mitzvah symbolizes the journey from childhood to adolescence en route to adulthood. And as you send your child off into the next stage of their life, you want to fit in as many life tips and special moments as possible. A bar/bat mitzvah only comes around once, so why not make the most of it and give it the perfect blend of meaning and celebration. And where better to do that than in Israel, the ultimate symbol of all of our Jewish journeys. A celebration in Israel can include not only a great party but the added value of historical meaning, family adventure, and, of course, some good weather!
Here are some tips to help you build your perfect bar/bat mitzvah journey in Israel:
1. Plan together. Becoming bar/bat mitzvah is a very important and symbolic moment for your son/daughter, and it should be both significant and enjoyable for them. Invite them to join in the planning of their celebration. Where do they want to go? What do they want to do? Sitting down together to work out what could be fun and what would be meaningful is in itself a memorable and bonding experience.
2. Include a challenge. A bar/bat mitzvah is a coming of age celebration and marks a change in the way your children see themselves and are seen by others. It’s an opportunity for them to learn about themselves, discover their strengths, and develop their identity. Invite them to face a challenge: something they really want to do but fear slightly; something you think they are capable of, but they aren’t 100% sure. It could be anything from hiking in the Golan Heights to volunteering in a soup kitchen. Something that will let them feel excited, encounter difficulty, and surprise themselves with their inner strength.
3. Connect to history. In Israel, wherever you are, ancient Jewish tradition is just around the corner. The many rich historical sites put Jewish religion and culture in context and help you understand your roots — a crucial part of strengthening your identity. Choose which sites would be meaningful for your family and, in particular, your child, and plan the best way to make history come alive.
4. Have fun. Don’t forget that a bar/bat mitzvah is also about enjoying yourselves as a family and making those treasured family moments. So, go to the beach, take a jeep tour in the desert, cycle around Tel Aviv, go rafting on the Jordan River, go to the Holon Children’s museum or an amusement park, chill out in Eilat… the list is endless.
5. Have a great party. A venue can be found and decorated to reflect your taste. You will have the ability to choose a great playlist or live music and, of course, some delicious food. Special attractions are always welcomed to keep everyone happy – Hebrew names spray painted on T-shirts, a caricature artist, a drumming circle; the choice is yours. nd worry not; there are options for all budgets. The most important thing is to let go, have fun, and enjoy this special moment together.