In an ideal world, we’d have all our loved ones with us for our son or daughter’s big day. But we know that, more than likely, we’ll be remembering a relative during a Bar or Bat Mitzvah weekend. Honoring loved ones who have passed away can feel daunting, but your plans don’t need to be overly orchestrated; they should just be meaningful to your family.
- Light a flame in their memory during a candlelighting ceremony performed at Shabbat Dinner or at the post-service celebration.
- Display photographs of your Mitzvah kid’s family tree, including those who are no longer with us.
- Use a special family member’s Kiddush cup, prayer book, or Challah cover to make their presence visible during key moments of the Bar Mitzvah.
- Play a song during the celebration that was a loved one’s favorite tune, or reminds your family of happy memories with them.
- Serve a recipe your loved one was known for, with a special note on a menu or buffet sign letting guests know this is, for example, Bubbe’s apple cake or Grandpa Ben’s potato salad.
Remembrances like these allow family members to hold close in thought those who can’t be with you, and add a special touch to your weekend celebration.