Weathering the Storm… Handling Late-Breaking Bar Mitzvah Challenges

It’s go time! Plans are set, out-of-towners have RSVP’d and the Mitzvah kid is ready to roll. But wait… a snowstorm (or insert other massive weather event here) is in the imminent forecast. Or a grandparent has just been hospitalized. Here’s how to handle unexpected and unfortunate occurrences during the Mitzvah weekend:

Get Ahead of the Weather. Whether your Mitzvah is in January or June, weather can wreak havoc on plans.

  • Ensure there’s an indoor rain option for outdoor plans and… (click through to site here) check that venues have back-up generators and contingencies for power loss.
  • If the forecast looks scary, communicate with out-of-towners about traveling earlier/later than planned in order to safely make the trip.
  • Explore getting hotel rooms for key vendors so that travel to your venue won’t be an issue.

Change the Timetable

  • Check with vendors to make sure that they have “cushion” time surrounding your event if it needs to be delayed or moved up.
  • If the service can’t take place Saturday morning, some synagogues may delay the service start time until warmer afternoon conditions, or hold the service Friday evening or Sunday morning.
  • Investigate your options with venue and vendors if EXTREME weather happens and your event can’t take place on the scheduled date.

Use Technology. Several area synagogues now use live streaming or videotape so that faraway relatives and friends who can’t make the simcha due to illness, injury or weather events can view the service in “real time” or afterwards. Video and photography vendors can make use of streaming or social media channels during the celebration to share the fun as well.

Have Help. Engage an event manager or friends to contact guests about alternate arrangements or work with vendors to change times. Reduce your stress and get the details done faster!

Embrace the Unpredictability. This one’s a tall order, but try to go with the flow and remain flexible as events unfold.  Remember that although elements of the weekend’s plans may change, your child WILL become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, and that’s the most important part!

The Bottom Line. When making decisions about changes to your Mitzvah plans, let safety be your guide.



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