Chabad of South Tampa's Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations are faithful to the beauty and authenticity of Jewish Tradition.  We encourage that the Bat Mitzvah take place near the girl's 12th birthday, while the Bar Mitzvah is near the boy's 13th birthday.  This would adhere to Torah's view that a girl's maturity is one year prior to that of a boy.

While both the Bar and Bat Mitzvah are treated with equal attention, the two ceremonies are not identical.  The Bar Mitzvah boy will read a section of the Torah and the Haftorah.  The Bat Mitzvah girl will lead the Congregation with a recital (in both Hebrew & English) of Aishet Chayil (A Woman of Valor), a selection from Tehilim (Psalms), or the 13 Principles of Faith.

After the Torah reading, the Bat or Bar Mitzvah will deliver her or his speech.  It is at this time that the Bat Mitzvah girl, in addition to her speech, recites the Aishet Chayil, Psalms or the 13 Principles of Faith.  The speech is followed by a presentation to the Bar Mitzvah boy or Bat Mitzvah girl and a talk from the Rabbi.

Individual Preparation

Every girl and boy who celebrates their Bat or Bar Mitzvah with Chabad receives a minimum of 15 private sessions with the Rabbi and or Dina, in order to make sure that she or he is 100% ready to be a star on the big day.   Children are able to discuss both the meaning and practical aspects of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah and have their questions answered and explored.

During these sessions boys are prepared for their Torah reading, including the Berachot, Maftir, and Haftorah.  Girls are prepared for their Hebrew-English reading of the Aishet Chayil, Tehilim, and Thirteen Principles of Faith.  In addition, each child is provided with an outlines and guidelines for writing the Bar or Bat Mitzvah speech and time is spent assisting the child in the development, writing, editing, and practicing of the speech.  Lastly, girls will be guided in the performance of the special Mitzvot of Shabbat Candles and Challah, and boys will be guided in the performance of the special Mitzvot of Tefilin and Kiddush.

Last but not least, the Rabbi remains in touch with parents to help guide them through the preparation for the Bar or Bat Mitzvah in the easiest and most enjoyable way.  Together, Rabbi and family explore issues such as, “who is more nervous parents or child,” and “do we invite 3rd cousin once removed, Ernie?”