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Making a Bat Mitzvah Celebration Unique

Many who have grown up in the Teaneck community or have children in elementary schools here have experienced the ‘Year of the Bat Mitzvah.’ For girls in Modern Orthodox communities, the sixth grade is consumed by seemingly endless Bat Mitzvah invitations and celebrations. For many parents, this means keeping track of the dates and times of each party and organizing rides to and from, all while scrambling to prepare for their own daughter’s Bat Mitzvah celebration. Because most schools require girls to invite all of their female classmates to their celebration, the majority of twelve years olds in the community end up attending 30 or 40 Bat Mitzvahs over the course of the year.

It is certainly not a burden for girls to attend dozens of parties with music, dancing and delicious food. Some of the classic Bat Mitzvah party highlights have become classics for a reason. Speeches are usually a key part of every Bat Mitzvah, for the girl shares the learning that she has done to prepare for her Bat Mitzvah, and parents and teachers share her great qualities and accomplishments. A signing book gives the Bat Mitzvah girl something to remember the day and the photo montage depicts how much this maturing adult has grown over the last twelve years of her life.

However, by around the tenth version of virtually the same party, it can get a little repetitive. Here are a few ways to make your Bat Mitzvah celebration unique.

Make a siyyum: Many girls learn a number of perakim of Pirkei Avot, or perhaps, a Megillah in preparation for their Bat Mitzvah. Making a siyyum on a set of Mishnayot or even a Gemara not only allows the Bat Mitzvah girl to learn a lot, but it is also a great and unique accomplishment to celebrate at a Bat Mitzvah.

Pick a theme: The giveaways, center pieces, and other aspects of the party can all have a recurring theme. A sport or activity that the Bat Mitzvah girl loves, or even something as simple as ‘Candyland’ could be a great way to make your party stand out.

It does not have to be a fancy party: Many twelve years olds would prefer bouncing around on a trampoline to sitting in a fancy dress at an extravagant party. A simple celebration in the backyard, a fun basketball clinic or a trip to Bounce Trampoline is often cheaper and more exciting than a lavish party.

Connect to the season: In preparation for the Bat Mitzvah, try learning about a holiday or special event that happens around the time of the girl’s twelfth birthday. For example, if her birthday is in September, perhaps learn Mishnayot Rosh HaShana, and if her birthday is in March, try learning Megillat Esther. The party theme can also connect to the time period. For example, if the party is around Purim, cute masks would be a great giveaway.

Do a chesed project: Everything in life is more special if you are doing it to help someone else. Have a table at the party where the girls participate in a chesed activity, like writing letters to soldiers or making bracelets for children with cancer.

Make it dramatic: If you have fifteen balloons to decorate your party, it will look normal. But if you have a small room and fill it with 500 balloons it is going to make a huge dramatic impact. Take something inexpensive but do it on a large scale so that it will be visually intriguing.

Personalize the centerpieces: Instead of using expensive flower arrangements to decorate the tables, use pictures or objects that represent that Bat Mitzvah girl. You could also try putting candy such as Hershey Kisses or lollipops in a nice glass bowl in the center of the table to add a chic and unique touch.

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