B’nei Mitzvah in Israel — Choosing a Venue

Planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah in Israel is a bit different from planning one in your home community. For starters, the Torah-reading service won’t be happening in your local synagogue – and possibly not even in a synagogue at all. For many families, the image they have of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah in Israel begins and ends with the Kotel (the Western Wall). While this may be exactly what you’re dreaming of, you might be pleased to know that B’nei Mitzvah ceremonies can be held just about anywhere in Israel. Below you’ll find a small taste of what’s possible. Your Dekel Tours personal Tour Specialist can help you put together your Bat or Bar Mitzvah tour in Israel, including finding the perfect spot for your family’s upcoming simcha and assisting you with all the planning and arrangements.

Jerusalem Venues – Old City

The Main Kotel Plaza – Boys can have a Bar Mitzvah ceremony in the main part of the plaza; male relatives and guests will be able to participate in the service, while female relatives and guests will have to pray separately (and may not be able to see the ceremony). Reservations are not allowed, and services happen on a first-come, first-served basis.

Robinson’s Arch – The egalitarian section of the Kotel Plaza, where all relatives and guests can participate in the service. The area has a number of tables set up where multiple Torah-reading services can happen simultaneously. Due to space constraints, services may be permitted a limited number of guests, and chairs may not be available.

Bat Mitzvah at Robinson’s Arch

Tower of David (the Citadel) – Located within the Old City, this museum contains multiple spaces for private Bar or Bat Mitzvah services, both indoors and outside (weather permitting). This is a great option if you want a private ceremony with the feel of ancient Jerusalem. Venue must be reserved in advance.

Jerusalem Venues – Other

Goldman or Haas Promenade – Both promenades offer stunning views of the Jerusalem hills and the Old City, with semi-private spots that can be set up with chairs and a table for an outdoor Torah service on the morning of the event.

Goldman Promenade

 

National Parks and Archaeological Sites

Bar Mitzvah at Caesarea National Park

Masada – Another fairly common choice for B’nei Mitzvah ceremonies, Masada has become the site of many of Israel’s national ceremonies. Torah services take place in the ancient synagogue on Masada. (Not recommended in July and August)

Tzippori – Torah services take place on the site of an ancient fifth century synagogue, which has been rebuilt over the original mosaic floors, in a modern building providing the comforts of gallery seating and year-round climate control.

Katzrin – In this recreated Talmudic-era village in the Golan Heights, there are two great options for B’nei Mitzvah ceremonies. The remains of a nearly 2000-year-old synagogue make for an incredibly moving outdoor venue. If weather is rainy or prohibitively hot, there is a lovely indoor space as well.

Ancient sites at many other locations: Ein Gedi, Tel Megiddo, Gamla, Hamat Tiberias, Beit Guvrin, Beit Alfa, and more. These heritage sites offer combined natural beauty and connections to ancient Judaism through the archaeological ruins preserved within the parks.

Off-the-Beaten-Track Locations

If you’re looking for a ceremony location that’s as unique and personalized as your Bat or Bar Mitzvah tour in Israel, your Dekel Tours personal Tour Specialist can help you make it a reality. From a quaint family farm in the Upper Galilee to a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, a lush oasis in the desert, or a boat on the sparkling Sea of Galilee, the possibilities are endless.