Bar or Bat Mitzvah Ceremony ~ A Joyful Simcha (Happy Occasion)
The coming-of-age ceremony is a joyful family event set in the context of a Jewish prayer service. The ceremony will be designed, with your input, to celebrate your child’s journey of growing up physically and maturing internally. At the heart of the service is the dramatic moment of calling the young person, for the first time, to the Torah. As the Torah scroll is passed to the young person, we are putting into his or her hands not just a book but everything we know is good and true and holy. We are passing on our wisdom in a profound ritual of welcome.
You have the option of inviting members of the Guatemalan Jewish community into this sacred circle of welcome. If you want, you can also welcome traveling Israelis and international Jewish visitors who stream through Antigua. You can choose to invite a few or many members of this community to your Bar/Bat Mitzvah service and fiesta.
There are certain traditional honors that take place during a Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony. Rabbi Julie will work with you to distribute these honors amongst your family and friends. Honors include uncovering the Torah, doing English readings, saying a Hebrew prayer at the Torah, blessing the bread, and sprinkling candy on the Bar or Bat Mitzvah child to wish him or her a sweet passage into the next stage of life.
Rabbi Julie brings a Torah scroll to the ceremony. You decide if you want to produce a prayer booklet or program to take the place of the prayer books that would be in a synagogue. Our ceremonies take place in a beautiful setting with colorful Guatemalan flowers and décor. The sash for the Torah is a bright Guatemalan woven faha (belt) that you take home as a gift. Complimentary party gifts include typical Guatemalan items such as worry dolls and hacky sacks.
Ask us about how you can make a tax-deductable donation to a Guatemalan project that we have vetted (such as the site of your mitzvah/service project.) This can be done through Rabbi Julie’s Rabbinic Fund at Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City. Bundling donations such as these, helps us build relationships with the projects.