The presentation of the tallit, the prayer shawl, is an outward symbol of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah taking their place as an adult member of the covenanted children of Israel. The tallit is presented towards the beginning of the service by one or two people with a special relationship to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
This honor generally requires two adults. A child may participate as an additional third person. Often this honor is appropriate for a younger sibling. If two families are sharing the service, this honor is shared as well. The family of the child who is chanting from the Torah first usually undresses the Torah, and the second child’s family dresses the Torah at the conclusion of the Torah service.
Each family may choose up to three additional opportunities for participation, either in the form of one or two aliyot to the Torah or readings in the service, to a total three honors.
Readings: Readings in the service may be assigned to family members from the Our Rabbis and Cantor are happy to help you select readings which are most appropriate for the individuals you wish to honor, including non-Jewish family members.
Family Aliyah: In addition to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child, the family may invite others to share the honor of being called to the Torah by their Hebrew names for an aliyah (to recite the blessings before and after the Torah is read. The blessings are recited in Hebrew.) Often Jewish parents, grandparents, or an older sibling who has celebrated Bar/Bat Mitzvah receive this honor. Each family may assign up to two family aliyot.
If you choose to attend Shabbat evening services the night before your child becomes a Bar/Bat Mitzvah , you will be offered the opportunity to light candles for the congregation, and the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child will be invited to lead the congregation in Kiddush and Motzi at the conclusion of services.