B’nei Mitzvah Honors


Here is some information regarding certain parts of your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah service that I hope you will find useful.


Tallit Presentation – The Tallit is usually presented by a Jewish parent or Jewish grandparent – please provide details of who will present the tallit.


Torah Service – this honor involves opening the Ark doors, undressing the Torah, dressing the Torah, and opening the Ark to return the Torah to the Ark.  It works best if this is done by two people who are familiar with a Shabbat service and with how to undress and dress a Torah.  The people should also be able-bodied, as this involves going up and down steps to the Ark.  It is preferable that the people performing this honor be Jewish.

If the people doing this have never done it before, it would be a good idea that, if possible, they come to the Temple and rehearse this before the day of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  Please contact Rabbi Companez to arrange a time for them to do this.



Aliyot – call-ups to the Torahthis honor is reserved for Jewish people only.  Non-Jewish partners may accompany their Jewish partner to the bimah, but it does not make sense for non-Jewish people to recite the blessings before and after the Torah-reading.  3 is the maximum number of aliyot including the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  Typically, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah is the first aliyah, then his/her parents are next, and then grandparents or other relatives follow.


For each aliyah to the Torah, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah should read at least three verses of their Torah portion.


For each aliyah to the Torah, please supply the person’s/people’s Hebrew name(s) which are in the form of Hebrew name, son/daughter of father’s Hebrew name and mother’s Hebrew name – Hebrew names of Jewish parents only are used – only Jewish people have Hebrew names. 

Please also provide English names and relationship to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.


Translation of the Torah Portion – this is in English and is an ideal way in which to honor a non-Jewish family member.  The translation should be sent to the person reading it ahead of time.


Speakers after the Bar/Bat Mitzvah’s dvar Torah (sermon):

Parents of Bar/Bat Mitzvah,

President of Temple Beth-El,

Rabbi Companez


Additional names for Yahrtzeit list – please provide names of deceased people that the Bar/Bat Mitzvah family is particularly remembering at this time (it does not have to be their yahrtzeit – anniversary of their death(s) – this may be grandparents, other relatives, or special friends.


Greeters – please arrange 3 greeters for the Shabbat morning service – they should be Temple members who you think would be able to do this.  The greeters should arrive at Temple by 10am on the day of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  One greeter should be at the door from the parking lot, welcoming people to the Temple.  Another greeter should be in the foyer area, handing out programs as people arrive, and a third greeter should be at the end of the hall that goes past the office and kitchen, outside the sanctuary, directing people into the sanctuary.


Typically, I require the information that I’ve requested above by the time of your child’s first rehearsal, but I understand that circumstances change and there may be last-minute changes to any or all of this information.  That’s OK – please don’t worry about this.


If you have any questions or concerns about any of these things or anything else concerning your child’s forthcoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah, please do not hesitate to contact me, Rabbi Companez, at

karencompanez@hotmail.com or on 574 234 4402 or 810 252 5265.