5 Important Dos and Don’ts of Attending a Bar Mitzvah

Did you get invited to attend someone’s Bar Mitzvah as a friend? Do you want to know what the proper guest etiquette is for Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah guests?

No matter how you look at it, there’s a big population of Jews in the US. Research says that the “core” Jewish population that practices the religion is at 7.2 million. If you get invited to a Bar Mitzvah, here are five things you should do and shouldn’t do.

1. Know the Proper Dress Code

A yarmulke or kippah is the name of the small skullcap that Jewish men wear when they enter the synagogue. Wearing one is an act of respect, like taking off your shoes in a mosque or removing your hats in a church. If you’re entering a synagogue, take a kippah from a basket at the entrance and wear it before entering.

The clothes in a Bar Mitzvah celebration can be semi-formal or formal. Men must wear a suit or slacks, jacket, and tie. Women must wear a dress, and in less traditional groups, they can wear formal pantsuits.

2. You Can Give Gifts in the Form of Money

Giving to the celebrant a gift is customary. Set to deliver your Bar Mitzvah presents at the reception instead of the synagogue. Most people give cash as a charity in multiples of 18 in honor of the Bar Mitzvah.

3. Follow the Actions in the Synagogue Service

Guests attending a Bar Mitzvah may observe the athleticism in the prayer services. Many people in the synagogue will sit and stand at particular times. Sit or stand as a sign of respect, but you don’t need to bow since it’s a sign of religious belief.

4. Arrive Earlier Than the Indicated Time

Remember that a Bar Mitzvah often only takes one and a half to two hours. Try to arrive at the Bar Mitzvah before the indicated time on the invitation. The time listed is often the official starting time, so help the host keep track of people attending and be there before that.

5. Don’t Bring a Guest to the Bar Mitzvah

A Bar Mitzvah ceremony is often a large celebration planned, like weddings. This means the host takes into account the number of attendees. Don’t bring an uninvited guest to one, especially since you’re only a guest, too.

Being a Bar Mitzvah Guest Is Easy

A Bar Mitzvah is an important rite of passage for many boys, so make sure you act appropriately as a guest. Do your best to follow the actions of other guests in the ceremony as a sign of respect. Other attendees won’t think you’re there to convert if you only follow along with their actions (except bowing).

Now, you know the basic guest etiquette of going to a Bar Mitzvah. This also translates to Bat Mitzvahs if you’re attending a party for girl celebrants. If you want to keep learning about the proper etiquette for Jewish celebrations, check out our other guides now.

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