Parents’ Role at Friday Night and Saturday Services

Friday Night

  • One parent from each family participates in lighting the Shabbat candles
  • One parent from each family participates in the honors of opening/closing the Ark during the Concluding Prayers of the service.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before the start of the service and meet the clergy in the front lobby.
  • Only the Bar/Bat Mitzvah students will be seated on the bimah for Friday night services. Parents will be in the congregation, though parents accompany the processional into the sanctuary at the start of the service.

Shabbat Morning or Mincha:

  • The parents are given the honor of bestowing a private prayer to their child at the beginning of theService. At the final rehearsal, the clergy will give parent(s) a suggested prayer. Parent(s) may usethat prayer, write their own, or be spontaneous.
  • Transmission of Heritage – When the Torah is taken from the Ark, all grandparents (Jewish and non-Jewish) are invited to stand with parents and the Bar/Bat Mitzvah at the ark, while the Torah is symbolically passed from one generation to the next. One parent (the Jewish parent, if only one parentis Jewish) holds the Torah and places it in the arms of their son/daughter. The other parent recites anEnglish prayer to their child. This prayer will be given to the families at the final rehearsal.
  • Following the Torah service, reading of the speeches, and the Rabbi or Cantor’s response, parent(s)and sibling(s) join the Bar/Bat Mitzvah in front of the ark for a special family blessing by the clergyand a song by the choir.
    At the conclusion of the service, the family may greet guests in a receiving line as they exit the sanctuary.
  • Families should arrive at the synagogue no later than 10:00 AM for the morning service or 4:30 pm for the Mincha service and meet the clergy in Rabbi Schwartzman’s office. During this time, the clergy will go over with you any announcements you would like to be made.
  • If any of the child’s grandparents are deceased, the Rabbi or Cantor will take those names from you so that they can be recited during the Kaddish section of the service.
  • The Bar/Bat Mitzvah student can don his/her tallit at this pre-meeting and the clergy will help him/her with reciting the blessing.
  • Finally, prior to going to the sanctuary, the Rabbi or Cantor will offer a pre-service blessing with the families.

Blessings & Prayers