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American making bar mitzvah in Israel
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amother




Wine


Post  Sat, Nov 10 2018, 8:51 pm
We are thinking of making my son’s bar mitzvah in Israel. What is the standard practice (to the extent that there is one) for people traveling to make it there? An Aliya at the kosel? And? Do we have to do anything else? A weekday meal at a restaurant? A kiddush on shabbos?

If we don’t have to do those things (and will still be considered socially appropriate), then we’d rather not do them. Just not sure what’s acceptable or not...

Please advise, thanks!
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Kumphort




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Nov 10 2018, 9:24 pm
Who will you be bringing with you?
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amother




Wine


Post  Sat, Nov 10 2018, 9:30 pm
Kumphort wrote:
Who will you be bringing with you?


parents and siblings of bar mitzvah boy. Maybe an aunt or uncle or grandparent or two...

We also have some relatives in Israel, not sure what they have to/should be included in...
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Kumphort




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Nov 10 2018, 9:38 pm
I don’t think there is any standard. It’s nice to have an Aliyah by the kotel and then maybe go out to eat for breakfast.
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amother




Wine


Post  Sat, Nov 10 2018, 9:40 pm
What about on shabbos? Do we have to do anything then?
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DrMom




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Nov 10 2018, 10:06 pm
You don't "have to" do anything.

You've only got a handful of close relatives attending. You have lots of flexibility.
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amother




Pewter


Post  Sat, Nov 10 2018, 11:27 pm
Does anyone have recommendations of a nice place to go out to eat the night of the bar mitzva? I’m not the op, but we’re also going iyh. OP, hope you don’t mind me asking on your thread - figured it can be helpful to you.

Eta - near the kotel
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amother




Pink


Post  Sun, Nov 11 2018, 3:12 am
Re eating out - nowhere specific to recommend but you're near Mamilla - maybe look into places there?
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kakky




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 11 2018, 3:46 am
if you invite anyone to the aliya at the kotel you need to invite them to breakfast/brunch. especially if they are taking off work or coming from out of yerushalayim.

if you are also making a party at home, do the minimum in israel, but it should still be a festive atmosphere.
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chanchy123




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 11 2018, 3:48 am
I think it would be rude not to include your family in Israel in at least some of the events.
From what I've seen (my family who came to Israel to have bar mitzvas) usually there is an aliyah at the kotel (but I've been to a shul aliyah as well) which everyone is invited to. Generally there will be a brunch/breakfast afterwards. It can be as fancy or simple as you make it. From a hotel breakfast, to a restaurant, to a small rented shul hall with bagels and stuff, and it can also be a picnic in a park if the weather is good.
Some people have a shabbat, some don't, some invite Israeli family, others don't. Some have an evening event in a hall others don't (actually I've only been to one actual evening event of family from the US - most either save the evening event for their community in the US or skip it). Etc. Etc.
I had one relative who had a party at a group home for boys instead of a fancy party in the US.

I know there are companies who will do all the planning and coordinating for you if that's what you want.
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imasoftov




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 11 2018, 6:05 am
There is no usual. Some bar mitzva invitations include that the boy is putting on tefillin for the first time or reading on a weekday at the kotel before the Shabbat when he'll be called up in shul, some don't.

Do what you like.
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essie14




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 11 2018, 6:48 am
I’ll basically echo what everyone else said. An Aliyah and / or Torah reading at the kotel is very nice and meaningful. If you have any sort of relationship with your family in Israel, I’m sure they would love to join your Simcha. Anyone who you invite should be part of the brunch or whatever meal you do post celebration.
It can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.
A bar mitzvah doesnt have to be on Shabbat. I feel if you’re just visiting, your son can get his Aliyah during the week and read the Torah if he wants. No Shabbat celebration is required. Especially if you’re not in your own community, I wouldn’t make a kiddush for random people in a random shul I was visiting.
There are several nice restaurants in mamilla that you can take a group of people to.
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amother




White


Post  Sun, Nov 11 2018, 6:59 am
I have heard you can call Colel Chabad and arrange a delicious private meal for yourselves there overlooking the Kosel and pair it with a donation for matching meal later for hungry people. So beautiful special and meaningful.
I've also heard of people arranging to go to a chesed facility and pack food to give to people or to otherwise celebrate with another mitzvah..
Definitely base it around your son and his personality. Make it enjoyable and meaningful for him and all of you!

Mazel Tov!
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Iymnok




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 11 2018, 8:25 am
There is a nice hall overlooking the motel plaza. Your family and friends are more likely to come if they are invited to a "seuda" as well. It could be a simple spread and a short speech. I’ve seen it done in the entrance to the tunnel by the stairs on the northern side of the plaza.
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amother




Wine


Post  Sun, Nov 11 2018, 10:54 am
Thank you all for your responses, I'm finding it very helpful.

It seems like I should be planning an aliya at the kosel and then a small/simple brunch afterwards for the relatives in Israel (who I like and have a good relationship with but who DS, who the bar mitzvah is actually about, doesn't know very well or care very much about at all).

Will it be weird if DS doesn't speak? The main reason we are considering Israel is because for various reasons, not clearly evident to most people (ie severe OCD that gets in the way of his davening, or an inability to read Hebrew, or paralyzing shyness and stutter that only shows up when he's in the spotlight....), a "typical" weeknight affair and accompanying laining and kiddush in shul on shabbos, which we did for all our other sons, will not work for this one.

We don't really have extra money but would like to make it as meaningful and beautiful as we can in a way that will work, and not stand out as unusual in the world he lives in, for this particular child (so basically, nothing large, nothing with a lot of focus and pressure on him)... It sounds like having the assorted aunts, uncles, and first cousins come is kinda non negotiable though.

How much does it typically cost per person for something of this nature?

Thanks again
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gumby




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 11 2018, 11:33 am
You don’t and should not do anything that will make your son uncomfortable.
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Learning




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 11 2018, 12:55 pm
Do the Aliya in the kosel give all the kids some goodie bags. Go for casual breakfast than ds doesn’t have to speak. Tell everyone you are going on some sort of a tour in Israel afterwards and no presents please because you are only coming to be in the kosel.
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syrima




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 11 2018, 1:40 pm
Following...
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rivkam




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 11 2018, 1:49 pm
It's great that you're trying to do something that will fit your son. Speeches here are not very big so I would say you could get away with it. Maybe have your dh or a rabbi speak if you feel it's important to have some divrei Torah.
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amother




Wine


Post  Sun, Nov 11 2018, 1:53 pm
gumby wrote:
You don’t and should not do anything that will make your son uncomfortable.


I have absolutely no interest in doing something that will make my son uncomfortable.

However, he will ALSO be uncomfortable if we do something that’s radically different than everyone else does (hence us not just staying home and not having a kiddush etc, it’s just not “done” in my circles for the most part and us doing that would call attention to him in a way he is not comfortable with).

That’s why I’m trying to figure out what is the “bare minimum” (party wise) that I can get away with if we go to Israel and he can still feel like a “typical” bar mitzvah in Israel bar mitzvah boy (he knows other kids who have gone to Israel for their bar mitzvah so that doesn’t seem strange to him even though it’s not what his brothers did).

Any estimates on cost and/or other insights?
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