My Bat Mitzvah was not your average run of the mill Bat Mitzvah. I always knew it was different but now after reflecting on it many years later, I realize how weird it really was.
In order for you to understand why I say it was weird, I guess I should explain the format.
After having a stressful experience attempting to plan my oldest sisters Bat Mitzvah my mom thought it would be good to plan my other sister’s and my Bat Mitzvah through my Jewish Zionist Latino Youth group ( yes those exist).
This meant that I shared my day with not one or two other girls but twelve (cool/crazy I know).
I remember that we would meet twice a week for Bat Mitzvah practice/learning for almost a year.
During the ceremony, we also performed an unusual amount of dances so a good portion of the Bat Mitzvah classes consisted of learning them.
The more Bat/Bar Mitzvah stories I heard since having my own and the more time I spent reflecting on mine made me realizes that I really only know one side of the Bat Mitzvah experience.
In order to fix this, I decided to ask my mom about it to get another view. If you want to hear a bit of my mom’s planning experiences keep reading.
Why did you decide to do a group Bat Mitzvah?
There were many factors for choosing to do one.
Some of the reasons were that it is more cost-effective than doing one alone and I thought it would be a good experience for you to do it with a group or friends.
It was also a structured program that was already set in place which would make the planning a bit easier in some ways.
How was the planning processes for you?
Just like you girls would have weekly lessons, all the moms and I would have meetings every week where we would plan out the Bat Mitzvah.
We would then look at the costs and vote on what we wanted.
As it expected it was difficult to get so many people to agree on one thing but after many discussions, we were able to agree on things with a lot of compromises.
While I did not mind having to do this some people might.
The advantages of planning your Bat Mitzvah with the youth group is that the main planners did this every year so they already had inside knowledge on who to contact and the best caterers or entertainment to hire.
Having people who had done this so many times before really helped speed up the process.
What advice would you give to people in planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah
I think the most important thing is to do your research. When your sister was first studying for hers she was not happy because she did not like the Rabbi.
After talking with various other mothers I realized that they had not had the best experiences either.
The second time around I then did a lot of research, I found a Rabbi your sister liked and this made all the difference.
While this example just had to do with the Rabbi it can be applied to various other things.
Another thing is that you should start planning early because things like venues get booked very fast.
Lastly, I think it is important to be aware not everything will go according to plan and that it is ok.
It is easy to get caught up in all the small details, but if you do you will not be able to enjoy the special day that you spent so much time planning.
For more on ideas and inspiration go here.
To look for someone to help you plan the big day go here.