Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the new normal of social distancing, large group celebrations continue to be restricted and postponed nationwide. If you have an upcoming bar or bat mitzvah celebration scheduled, there is no need to cancel. Besides postponing, we've also included some ways you can still celebrate now!
Here are some tips to help postpone your bat or bar mitzvah due to COVID-19.
Contact the Venue and Vendors
When postponing this special celebration, it is most important to let the venue know as soon as possible and start conversations around making arrangements for a future date.
Next, you’ll need to contact your rabbi and synagogue to brainstorm alternatives for the religious service and mitzvah ceremonies. If there is no date that lines up with the availability of the venue, it is always a possibility to virtually stream the service. The reading from the Torah portion can be virtually attended by friends and family members. It may not be part of the Jewish tradition to do things this way, but due to these unforeseen circumstances, if need be, this will allow you to share the ceremony with family and friends.
If an independent caterer or any entertainment such as a DJ, photographer, or magician was hired, now is also the time to let them know about the postponement. Much like venues, this makes it easier for you to start planning the new date and allows for the vendors to manage their schedule too.
When it comes to postponing with vendors, allowing them to know sooner is always better. Keep in mind of any contracts you have already signed regarding payments and possible cancellation fees or refunds. Due to COVID-19 circumstances, your vendors may allow for deposits to be used for the future celebration.
Tell Your Guests
This is a personal decision of how you want to go about letting guests know the change in plans. This can be done by sending a new invitation in the mail or just giving everyone who RSVP’d a quick call or text.
If you have the time and want to make updated invitations to send to your guests, go for it! However, if there is a quick turnaround between the old date and the new one, a phone call and/or text to everyone directly is an easy option. You can find a casual messaging option here.
Pro Tip: You may want to reach out to all guests regarding the new date (perhaps via email!), in case guests who previously could not attend, are now available for the new date.
Check on Party Favors
Bar and bat mitzvah celebrations are known to have personalized party favors for their guests. This can include sweatshirts, accessories, or anything else creative you can think of. Whatever the swag may be, they almost always have a custom logo in honor of the bar mitzvah boy or bat mitzvah girl.
If you have already ordered custom party favors that include a date, and have yet to receive them, you can reach out to the company and request they use a different logo (perhaps without a date) if they have not started production on your items. If you’ve already received the items, you can still use them at the celebration—your guests will understand due to the COVID-19 related circumstances.
A bar or bat mitzvah is a rite of passage to celebrate reaching the age thirteen. This special day is meant to be a Jewish coming of age ritual as a child becomes an adult in the eyes of the religious community. No matter when the day occurs or when it is celebrated, a bar or bat mitzvah is a significant milestone and accomplishment in someone’s life no matter what.
On the original date of the scheduled bar or bat mitzvah, it is important to celebrate this milestone moment. You can host a virtual celebration with your closest friends and family, prepare the guest of honor’s favorite meal, and even book some virtual entertainment.