Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel

Connecting to the Chain of Generations

The Western Wall Heritage Foundation invites you to celebrate your Bar Mitzvah at the Western Wall in a moving ceremony and in the special atmosphere of unity and holiness, all free of charge.

All details await you here. Register early to guarantee yourselves an unforgettable experience for this once-in-a-lifetime event!

ספר

Preparing for the Bar Mitzvah

Register now and come prepared for the big day. Learn how to read from the Torah with the proper trop (notes) & put on tefillin (phylacteries). Learn about the values of being a mature Jewish young man and strengthen your connection to the Jewish people. This is a subsidized program held throughout Israel.

Bar Mitzvah Ceremony

Join the Jewish people's Chain of Generations in a moving ceremony at the Western Wall. Included are blessings, putting on tefillin (phylacteries), reading of the Sh’ma, and the highlight of the ceremony- calling the Bar Mitzvah boy up to the Torah. All free of charge.

The Day of the Bar Mitzvah: Information

Directions to the Western Wall, what to bring, where to park, serving refreshments...everything you need to know so you can come prepared and on time to celebrate your special event at the Western Wall.

הפקות בר המצווה

Tours on the Day of the Bar Mitzvah

Continue the celebration with enjoyable and enriching family tours at sites in and around the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter. The tours are led by the best of the Foundation’s guides and are suitable for every family

Quill of the Heart

Experiential, Preparatory Gathering with the Bar Mitzvah Boy and His Family in One of the Western Wall Tunnel Halls before His Laying of Tefillin and Being Called up to the Torah

Bar Mitzvah at the Western Wall

For decades, thousands of families from Israel and around the world have celebrated their Bar Mitzvahs at the Western Wall. Each week, the Western Wall Plaza fills with joyous and emotional families who have arrived to commemorate this special milestone in their sons’ lives.

בר מצווה

Bar Mitzvah Event Production

Come to your bar mitzvah at the Kotel knowing that everything is professionally planned so that the bar mitzvah boy, parents, family, and friends can enjoy an experience enveloped in holiness, a ceremony celebrating spiritual maturity. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation’s professional staff will accompany you from the moment you decide to celebrate at the Kotel and throughout the event.

Bar Mitzvah Calculator

בר מצווה
Find your Hebrew Bar Mitzvah date and Parasha (portion)

Q&A

What happens when we arrive at the Western Wall? Where do we meet the guide?

Q:  What happens when we arrive at the Western Wall? Where do we meet the guide? A: The Bar Mitzvah ceremonyױs stand is located immediately after the security check gate adjacent to Dung Gate. Two National Service volunteers are there whose job it is to introduce your group to the guide who will accompany you throughout the ceremony.

Can we photograph and video at the Western Wall?

Q:  Can we photograph and video at the Western Wall? A: Yes, videos and photographs can be taken at the Western Wall. There is also the option for the Western Wall Heritage Foundation to photograph the Bar Mitzvah boy and to upload his picture onto our website, with the familyױs approval, of course.

In what languages can the ceremony be conducted?

Q:  In what languages can the ceremony be conducted? A: The guides of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation speak various languages, including English, Russian, French and Spanish. If you would like the ceremony run in a language other than Hebrew, you must indicate your language of choice when you register for the ceremony. We will try, but cannot guarantee, to find you a guide in your requested language.

Who runs the ceremony? What qualifications does he have?

Q:  Who runs the ceremony? What qualifications does he have? A: Our guides have all undergone careful selection, specialized training and qualification by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation. All our guides are trained in leading prayers and in helping create a festive and joyful atmosphere. Our guides are familiar with the proper Torah reading װtropױ (notes) and can assist in the Torah reading as needed. In addition to helping run the ceremony, the guide will also assist you in all logistics such as finding a table in the Kotel area, bringing a Torah scroll and prayer books, and the like.

Can we incorporate personal greetings and comments into the ceremony?

Q:  Can we incorporate personal greetings and comments into the ceremony? A: Absolutely!! Personal greetings and blessings can be included in the ceremony with the help of your guide who will indicate to you the proper time and place for such by maintaining appropriate limitations of modesty as is warranted at this holy site.

What do you suggest that we do before or after the ceremony? What tours or activities do you suggest?

Q: What do you suggest that we do before or after the ceremony? What tours or activities do you suggest? A: The Western Wall Heritage Foundation has a wide variety of activities (for a fee) that can be incorporated either before or after the ceremony at the Kotel. Among these activities are:  The ׂQuill of the Heart׃ ׀ an encounter with an ancient tradition of Jewish scribes, writing Torah scrolls, phylacteries (tױfillin) and mezuzot), in one of the beautiful halls located in the Kotel Tunnels. click here   ׂYoung Guides׃ – a tour of the Kotel Tunnels or the Chain of…

What other services do you offer for the celebrating families?

Q:  What other services do you offer for the celebrating families? A: The Foundationױs Bar Mitzvah family package coordinator would be happy to assist you in any ancillary services to your event, from beginning to end, including organizing transportation, the familyױs procession to the Kotel, restaurants, halls, etc. For details call *5958.

What souvenir does the Bar Mitzvah boy get after the ceremony?

Q:  What souvenir does the Bar Mitzvah boy get after the ceremony? A: Every Bar Mitzvah boy receives a decorative certificate with his name and the date of his Bar Mitzvah. The certificate is signed by the Rabbi of the Kotel and can be framed for a memento that will last forever.

What do we need to bring with us for the ceremony?

Q:  What do we need to bring with us for the ceremony? A: You should bring the tallit (prayer shawl) and tױfillin (phylacteries) you bought for the Bar Mitzvah boy. We also suggest that you bring a sufficient amount of (soft) candies that guests can throw towards the Bar Mitzvah boy during the ceremony.

Do you also give Bar Mitzvah preparatory lessons?

Q:  Do you also give Bar Mitzvah preparatory lessons? A: Definitely. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation has a special program in Israel that prepares young boys for their Bar Mitzvah. Lessons take place in the city where the boy lives and are given by teachers who are especially trained for this. The program is subsidized and requires advanced registration. For further details and registration, see click here.

Is it customary to give a tip to the guide or a donation to the Foundation?

Q:  Is it customary to give a tip to the guide or a donation to the Foundation? A: The Foundationױs guides work on salary and they are forbidden to accept tips. Any family interested in making a donation to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation is welcome to leave their donation at the Bar Mitzvah stand located at the entrance to the menױs prayer section.

Can we bring refreshments to the ceremony? What food is recommended to serve and where is the service area? Where is the food left during the ceremony?

Q:  Can we bring refreshments to the ceremony? What food is recommended to serve and where is the service area? Where is the food left during the ceremony? A:   Refreshments are obviously an inseparable part of the celebration at the Kotel.  To the north of the Western Wall Plaza (to the left of the prayer plaza) there are two covered areas with tables for the use of bar mitzvah families who wish to bring refreshments.1. The porch is not wheelchair accessible. It can only be reached by stairs.2. The Haguy tunnel is on the same level as the Western Wall…

How long does the ceremony last? Does the ceremony always start on time or could there be delays?

Q:  How long does the ceremony last? Does the ceremony always start on time or could there be delays? A: The ceremony itself lasts approximately 40 minutes, but additional time should be allotted for setting up the ceremony and the arrival of all the guests, using the restrooms, etc. It is advised to arrive at least 15 minutes before the arranged time and to also take into account possible traffic delays getting to Jerusalem and inside the Old City, finding parking, and walking to the Western Wall Plaza.Aside from rare occurrences, we stand closely to the time-frame set for the ceremony, so…

How does one reserve a date to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah? Is there a specific date on which it should be celebrated?

 Q: How does one reserve a date to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah? Is there a specific date on which it should be celebrated?  A: The Bar Mitzvah is the Hebrew date of the boyױs 13th birthday. The ceremony, including his being called up to the Torah can take place on Monday or Thursday or on Rosh Chodesh (the first day of the Hebrew month), days when the Torah is read during morning services. The ceremony should be held as close to the birthday as possible. It can be observed on or after the Hebrew birthday, and only in specific and…

Does one need to reserve the date for the Kotel ceremony in advance? How long before the date does one need to reserve it? How is it done?

Q: Does one need to reserve the date for the Kotel ceremony in advance? How long before the date does one need to reserve it? How is it done? A: Holding a Bar Mitzvah ceremony at the Kotel requires advance reservation with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation in order to reserve a guide who will accompany you throughout the ceremony and assist in running it. One can reserve the date from 6 months in advance to as late as one week before the event. The reservation can be made in one of two ways: (1) via the Foundationױs website (link),…

What happens if it rains on the day of the ceremony?

Q:  What happens if it rains on the day of the ceremony? A:  On rainy days, the ceremony is held inside the area called Wilsonױs Arch, to the left of the menױs prayer area. This is an inside area that includes a raised womenױs section, separated by glass. The women can hear the prayers by using earphones loaned to them by the hostess stationed in the womenױs section.
Bar Mitzvah celebration is a special occasion for boys and their families, but planning the bar mitzvah party can be difficult. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation can help you organize the bar mitzvah celebration at the Western Wall and to help you have an amazing and unique experience.

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Thank You Letters

The Michael Family

Thank you very much to our guide, Kalman. He was great, and thanks to him we were very happy. Thank you to all of you who made our celebration so amazing.

The Niv Family

We really enjoyed ourselves. It was an enriching and moving experience. Thank you to the guide for being with us and for the explanations.

The Albachar Family

We were very touched by the caring, the concern, and the desire to support and help, from the very first phone conversation up to the day of the aliya to the Torah where we were accompanied by the guide at the scribe-writing workshop and at the ceremony at the Kotel.

The Eitzes Family

I have no words to describe how incredible our child’s event was! We met Rabbi Pinchas and he ran the ceremony at the Kotel. It was the pinnacle of connection, of belonging to the nation. A once-in-a-lifetime experience. (At least the first, since this is the oldest boy and oldest grandson). We thank you for your wonderful work! What a huge mitzvah!

The Shavit Family

To the entire staff of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation and especially to those who deal with the organization and running of bar mitzvah ceremonies, my family and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the moving ceremony, the follow up and the perfect guidance of the entire process beginning with overcoming challenges of transportation right to the end. We are overwhelmed by the impressive experience.

The Holtz Family

I cannot find the words to thank you and praise Rabbi Meir Yisrael Nahon who ran our son Omer’s bar mitzvah ceremony with love and devotion. We felt as though he was taking care of his own family and his own son. Thank you and well done!

The Shmueli Family

Thank you very much to the amazing Daniel for taking care of us from the first day we made contact. Daniel ran the scribe-writing ceremony for us which was interesting and so moving it brought us to tears. The Look into the Past experience was also wonderful and well-done. Meir, the guide, was perfect for the aliya to the Torah. It was fascinating and moving. He was simply amazing!!! Thank you very, very much for a powerful experience that we will never forget.

Bar Mitzvah: Registration Form

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