B Mitzvah Ceremony Locations - Take Your Pick!

    The holiest site in Judaism, Jerusalem's Western Wall - once known as The Wailing Wall - was the last remnant of the Temple enclosure that was left standing after the Roman destruction in the year 70. In 1967, it became part of the modern State of Israel, and overnight became the central focus of modern-day Jewish hopes, dreams, aspirations...and pilgrimage.

    Bar and Bat Mitzvahs at the Western Wall are held on Monday and Thursday mornings from 7:30AM until noon. The Bar Mitzvah celebrant may read a portion of the Torah (maftir) reading the Haftorah is optional. Services at the Western Wall are in the Orthodox tradition, and men and women are separated by a partition (mechitzah) it is customary for Bar Mitzvah celebrants to wear tefillin.

    Bat Mitzvah celebrants do not read from the Torah: instead, her father or other male relative is called to the Torah in her honor. The family comes together after the service, and the Bat Mitzvah celebrant recites a thanksgiving prayer.

    Ceremonies at the Western Wall are free of charge, however, donations are accepted. Families may have their own Rabbi officiate at the ceremony. To have the Rabbi of the Western Wall arrange the ceremony, contact Rabbi Nahum c/o Tzvi Hoffman, Hechal Shlomo, Moreshet HaKotel, King George Street, Jerusalem, Israel (tel: 011-972-2-627-4422).

  • THE SOUTHERN WALL, JERUSALEM is no less holy than the Western Wall, for it is part of the remaining Southern enclosure of the Temple Mount. Private Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies may be held here. Unlike at the Western Wall, ceremonies are held according to your and your rabbi's traditions - so men and women may celebrate, sit and pray together. The atmosphere is tranquil, the view of the Judean Hills and the Mount of Olives is haunting. The congregation sits on the ancient, stone Hulda Steps, the original stairs leading to the Second Temple. Your rabbi should make arrangements with the office in charge: Chevra L'`Pituach Mizrach Yerushalayim 8 Shamai Street (POB 2395) Jerusalem 94631. Telephone: 011-972-2-627-7550 or 011-972-2-625-4404 Fax: 011-972-2-627-7962 or 011-972-2-624-7137

  • THE WESTERN WALL TUNNELS : Excavated almost 30 years ago, the Western Wall tunnels are one of Israel`s most splendid archaeological discoveries. Their galleries enable visitors to comprehend the enormity of the Second Temple (a construction of such height and vastness that it dwarfs the Dome of The Rock). And they reveal the extraordinary depth of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, enabling visitors to reach the nearest point accessible to the destroyed Temple`s Holy of Holies. Ceremonies here, like at the Western Wall, are strictly Orthodox. To make arrangements: (Tel) 011-972-2-627-1333.

  • THE TOWER OF DAVID MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF JERUSALEM : Private B Mitzvah ceremonies may be held in the historic courtyard and gardens of Jerusalem's more than 2000-year-old Citadel. For information: (Tel) 011-972-2-627-4111 (fax) 011-972-2-628-3418 (e-mail) [email protected]

    After the destruction of the Temple in 70, hundreds of Jewish refugees escaped from Jerusalem and fled to King Herod`s abandoned fortress-palace atop Mount Masada, near the Dead Sea. For three years, the refugees, known as "the Zealots," lived, farmed and prospered atop the mountain, taunting the Roman besiegers from its summit. When the Romans finally breached the refugees' stronghold in the year 73, they discovered that 970 men, women and children had taken their own lives rather than becoming slaves. Masada was excavated in 1964 and has become one of Israel's most prominent and most visited sites. For Israelis and for post-Holocaust Jews everywhere, it is a symbol of Israel`s self-reliance and determination that such atrocities will "never again" be committed against the Jewish people. Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies atop Masada are held in the remains of the Zealots' Synagogue, arguably the world's oldest synagogue still in use. Services here are conducted by the rabbi of your choice, according to Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or Reconstructionist tradition. Arrangements should be coordinated by your rabbi, travel agent or relative in Israel by contacting Masada National Park: (Tel) 011-972-8-658-4207/8 (Fax) 011-972-8-658-4464 or Arad Tourist Center: (Tel) 011-972-8-695-9333, (fax) 011-972-8-695-5052.

  • THE HURVA SYNAGOGUE, destroyed in the War of Independence in 1948, is now a simple and elegant memorial graced by a giant arch which soars against the blue sky in recollection of the synagogue's shattered dome. It has become a symbol of the Jews' return to our holiest city, and it is an ideal site for a private Bar or Bat Mitzvah service.

  • NEOT KEDUMIM. This 625-acre nature reserve dedicated to the restoration of the ecology of Biblical times lies between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It contains hundreds of species of trees, plants and vegetation mentioned in the Bible and Talmud: cedars and hyssop, olives, figs and pomegranates, grape vines, date palms and Jerusalem sage. It is also home to wild donkeys, ostriches, oryx, Golan wolves and fallow deer, easily spotted as visitors explore ancient olive and wine presses, and excavations revealing ancient threshing floors, cisterns and ritual baths. Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies can be Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or Reconstructionist and include a tour of the nature reserve that connects to the week`s Haftorah. Celebrations are held in Neot Kedumim`s 600-seat outdoor theater and vegetarian or dairy catering is available. Arrangements should be made by the Rabbi or travel agent with the Neot Kedumim Reservations Department: (tel) 011-972-8-977-0777 .(fax) 011-972-8-924-5881.

  • ANY SYNAGOGUE OF YOUR CHOICE, IN JERUSALEM, OR ANYWHERE IN ISRAEL is also an ideal location for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, particularly if you wish to hold the ceremony on Shabbat. For specific information contact:

    The Center for Conservative Judaism: (Tel) 011-972-2-625-2529 (Fax) 011-972-2-623-4127
    Har-El Reform Synagogue: (Tel) 011-972-2-625-3841 (Fax) 011-972-2-623-4866
    Movement for Progressive Judaism: (Tel) 011-972-2-620-3477 (Fax) 011-972-2-620-3446
    Orthodox: Jerusalem Connection Resource Center (Tel/Fax) 011-972-2-627-1283, or The Great Synagogue, (Tel) 011-972-2-624-7112, (Fax) 011-972-2-623-3620

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