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Bar / Bat Mitzvah Check List

Bar Mitzvah & Bat Mitzvah ceremonies in Boulder CO - destination rabbi

Here is a helpful to-do list to plan your ceremony:

One of the challenges of taking your ceremony out of the traditional synagogue setting, is that many of the logistics land on your shoulders.

This check-list has been put together with the help of other families to help you plan and execute your special day.


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    Ceremony set-up:

Choose a Date:

Choose a Location:

     Venues fill early and our rabbis' calendars have very little flexibility, so don't delay
      choosing your venue.

If Hiking:

    Remind guests to bring a small backpack and to wear hiking shoes, sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, warm layers, rain coat. Each guest will carry their own prayerbook, so they really do need a backpack.

    (optional) some guests might want a cushion to sit on

    Please provide water and snacks for your guests or ask them to bring their own

    Make sure your guests have directions to the trailhead and know that we really are hiking!

    Please do not include anyone with medical conditions that might make hiking at altitude challenging or dangerous.

If Not Hiking:

Arrange for room set-up before and clean-up afterwards

Rent Chairs for your guests + 2 chairs in the front for student and rabbi - (they will set up and breakdown)

Consider if there is ample shade. (The service is too long to sit in direct Colorado sunlight!) You can rent a canopy to cover the Rabbi and the student.

Tables: Your will need two tables in front, one for the Ark with the Torah, and one for Bar and Bat Mitzvah student and rabbi to lead from. Alternatively, rent a podium to read from. This is great if your child is tall. If s/he is on the shorter side, the rabbi may be able to bring a reader's stand that goes on the table. Depending on the table size, you may need another one for Kiddush cup and challah. You'll also need a table to put prayerbooks on when people walk in.
Summary for Tables: (2) Tables in front; (1) for Kiddush cup and challah; (1) for prayerbooks.

Tablecloths: Tablecloths to cover all the tables. (If outdoors, clamps to hold on table clothes in windy conditions.)

Microphone System: Venues not in Boulder: please provide a lapel microphone for the student and a standing microphone for the rabbi. (In Boulder the rabbi will bring the microphone and sound system.)

Flowers (Optional)

Tallis for your guests (Optional): If you would like to provide alit for your guests. These are not required and most of our families do not choose to offer them.

Kippot for your guests (Optional). These are not required and many of our families do not choose to offer them. Please note that if you want to order them, Kippot can take a 2-4 weeks to arrive and you can personalize them with your child's name in English and Hebrew as well as the date of the event. We recommend Place a basket with Kippas and bobby pins next to the prayerbooks for your guests.


For All Students:

Tallis and / or Kippah for Bar / Bat Mitzvah Student. (Optional). Ordering can take several weeks to a month. You can also go to local Jewish bookstore. One reliable source who gets some Tallitot from Israel is; Get Tallis clips (or make your own at Bead It – get the actual clip from Michael's), make chain approximately 7 inches across. We also recommend Ann Leder for custom Talis - 303.322.4333.

Water for Bar/Bat Mitzvah student

Kiddush cup filled with grape juice (white or red)

Challah and cover. Can get ceremonial challah (large 3 challahs baked into one) at Breadworks in Boulder; Need to order it on Monday prior to Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

Day of Tasks:

Bring kippot

Bring tallis and tallis clips (Bar/Bat Mitzvah child’s as well as parent’s)

Bring student's Binder

Bring challah, grape juice, Kiddush cup

Water (glass or bottle) for Bar/Bat Mitzvah student



Speeches (Students & Parents)

Jaycee Shelter - Rental

The Jaycee Shelter on Flagstaff Mountain (also called the Wood Shelter) is a popular venue for our students. Here are some special set-up requirements for that venue:

Reserve shelter online from Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks - Click Here >>

The grill can be converted into a "table" to hold the ark.

Remove the ashes from the grill and from around the grill

Place a large piece of wood (approx 42x42 from Home Depot/Lowe's);over the top of the grill and a tablecloth over that. Secure the cloth with large alligator clips. (oversized paper clips). You can use this to hold the ark.

Place another table or podium in front of this one, from which to lead the service.

The "buffet" table when you enter can be used for prayerbooks, and a picnic table can be used for the Challah. (They will need to be covered with tablecloths. They tend to be really dirty.)

Consider enlisting someone to hand out parking permits to your guests. Call Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks to get parking passes ($5/car)

Guests frequently overshoot the turn off from the main road. Consider marking the turn in some way (choose a way that is allowed by your permit) and make sure your guests have very clear directions and know how long it takes.

Directions: Baseline Road west towards mountains. Drive past Chautauqua Park on your left. The road's name changes to Flagstaff Road. 3.4 miles up Flagstaff Road, to Realization Point, then right turn, 0.5 miles on Flagstaff Summit Road. It takes longer than you would expect to get up there. Click here for a map.

Place hand sanitizer for the port-a-potties on the mountain (consider also potpourri).

You might consider renting a large Connect 4 Board or Cornhole for the kids; you can rent them from a local company such as Premier Denver Rentals >>

Planning the Ceremony:

The month before the ceremony, schedule two meetings with the rabbi.

1. Meeting one:

In the first meeting we will go through the entire service and assign parts. Bring a list of all the people you wish to honor by including them in leading the service. There are roles for young and old, Jews and non-Jews. Honors include: opening the ark, removing the mantle which covers the Torah, readings in English, presenting the tallis, English readings your family selects, and more.

The student should also bring an almost complete version of his/her speech to review with the rabbi.

2. Meeting Two: Rehearsal! We will do a full run through of the service in the rabbis office. Please have the students speech and Torah potion ready to go!

Which Program is right for you?

      OPTION 1:
      Individual Bar and Bat Mitzvah Program
      Option for Distance Learning and Destination Ceremonies
      (10 months, you pick the start date)
      On this page, read above

      OPTION 2:
      Adventure Bar and Bat Mitzvah Class, Boulder Colorado
      (10 months, August - May)
      Click here>>

      OPTION 3:
      Bar and Bat Yisrael, a less intensive coming of age program without Hebrew
      Option for Distance Learning
      (12 weeks)
      Click here >>

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Individual Bar & Bat Mitzvah Program

OPTION 2: Adventure
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OPTION 4: Summer Bar & Bat Mitzvah Expedition
OPTION 5: Bar Mitzvah in Israel or Bat Mitzvah in Israel