Based on my extensive research attending Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, I bring you the essentials of what you have to do to run a successful Bar Mitzvah party. It is not a weekend. It is the Bar Mitzvah party month. So be prepared…

Regarding the speech – Mom get ready to write it.

Trip to Israel

Today, you must take the kid to Israel to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah before his Bar Mitzvah. In addition to the party, this ensures that the parents must go broke. This is mandatory.

If you live in Israel, you have to take your boy to the Kotel, to pay for another breakfast for 80 people. This includes the random guy at the Kotel who you got in a fight with over who the Torah holding table belongs to.

Picture Montage

You obviously need a slideshow of your child but more importantly, to show everybody in your community all the vacations you went on, so that your friends understand why you can’t afford to pay full tuition for Jewish Day School.

The slideshow must include all pictures from the child’s life in no specific order. Let Windows do the organizational work. The montage must then be played to some kind of soft rock song from the 1980s. “The Living Years” by Mike and the Mechanics must be in the mix. And then you are must play “Happy” to truly work the emotions of the people who are not watching and don’t care about that vacation with Bubbie.

After a half hour of family, throw in pictures of each of the 300 guests, including your child’s friends so that they can get excited for a minute. If you must, go into the shul archives for community pictures.

Friends Must Do a Presentation

It is important that these kids are extremely disorganized. That is an integral part of the presentation. Make sure that kids from their class sing a song that rhymes “cool” with “school.” Optimal lyrics are, “He is so cool, he does well in school.” This is a big crowd pleaser.

Bat Mitzvah’s Speech

Mom must write it.

Bar Mitzvah’s Speech

Mom must write it. The tradition is to allow the young man to work on it. You are supposed to remind him every day and he is supposed to say that he is working on it, while he is on the PlayStation. A week before the Bar Mitzvah, act surprised and get extremely angry and force him to write the speech that you end up writing.

Tell the Child to Read Louder

Do this in front of everybody. Do not work on this at home. Wait till he is at the party and standing in front of 300 people, including every teacher he has ever had. This way he can also feel like he is being judged for his reading skills.


Not everyone is sleeping yet so at this point, speeches must be given by everybody. The parents, grandparents, cousins, and anybody else who is not entertaining.

Topic of the speech that you give as the parent should have something to do with child growing up, who they are named after and how hard the birth was.

Invite your friends

The Bar Mitzvah is really for the parents. A successful Bar Mitzvah is when the boy asks why he is there and why there are only four of his friends present. The questions from the Bar Mitzvah boy should be: “Why am I wearing a suit if this is a party for me?” “Who is this guy? My friends are not balding.”

Give Everybody an Honor

Nobody should feel left out. Each of the 300 guests is important. If that takes calling an extra 40 people to the Torah over Shabbat, then so be it. And each guest called to the Torah reserves the right to say an extra private blessing in front of the whole congregation, mentioning each member of his family for five minutes. If they forget a family member’s name, give them another minute.

Candle Lighting Ceremony

Some people do not deserve to get called to the Torah. Have a candle lighting ceremony so that people you do not believe are important also have a chance to have an honor of lighting a candle.

Be creative and dedicate the candles with meaningful words like, “This candle. The candle of summer is going to be lit by...” That will be meaningful to Cousin Jeremy. The more vague the candle, the more poetic the ceremony.


Need a DJ. No bands. Kids don’t want bands nowadays. Just a guy with a computer. No records. No instruments. A guy who brought a playlist that he found on YouTube. That is the talent. Be ready to spend $2,000 on this guy’s ability to download.

Jewish Dancing Time

Must be done in a circle. A requisite fifteen minutes of Jewish dancing, with at least one hora. This is done before the DJ presses the hip hop button on his computer and all the kids start making everybody uncomfortable with their new dances.

Make a Party Bag

The hundred and twenty dollars you are putting down on the meal for each person is not enough. The kids need the bags. In the bag should be a piece of chocolate and jellybeans, just in case the eight-thousand-dollar dessert table does not satisfy the needs of the young ones.

Have A Camera Man

This way people will smile for a minute. Without the camera man, nobody will be smiling. Remember, you sat them at the table with the people they don’t like.

People at the party should not want to be there. This is why you have the speeches and the slideshow. To make it less enjoyable, you can also turn off the air-conditioning.

Huge Party

Party must be expensive and huge. Those are the only true rules.

Pick a Theme

You have a choice to run the same party that everybody else in his class ran, with the kippahs, DJ, speeches, slideshow, candle lighting ceremony, or you can be unique and have a basketball theme. Remember nothing says welcome to the observance of mitzvot like a cardboard cutout of Lebron James.

Mazal tov!