FIRST Bar mitzvah...PLEASE HELP lol

  • comical44

    Posts: 723

    Nov 26, 2012 12:57 AM GMT
    So the two brothers I mentor are going to their cousins Bar Mitzvah this weekend....Their grandparents would like me to attend. IM NERVOUS !!

    PLEASE HELP

    What can I expect?

    So I will be trvaeling a few hrs with only the Teens I Mentor.

    Ive only met their grandparents once and I do not know their unclesand cousins who will be there and I will not know one other person except the brothers and I barely know their grandparents.


    I didnt want to say No and be rude so I dont know what I got myself into!!


    What do I have to wear?

    Do I have to dance?

    Normally at this type of function when your nervous and dont know anyone you want to DRINK and I dont think that will look good because im their mentor? lol

    Do I have to be clean shaven?

    Do I have to give a gift?

    How long is this?

    Do I have to wear a Yamaka?

    Please dont laugh and if you read this and have information please respons to my questions...Im stressed lol...PLEASE
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    Nov 26, 2012 1:05 AM GMT
    Bring an envelope with 100 dollar bill(s) <-- plural

    They will love you forever~
  • comical44

    Posts: 723

    Nov 26, 2012 1:12 AM GMT
    And obviously Im not jewish so is their anything specific I should know so I dont offend any jewish people(what to wear, to say etc)...you know what I mean
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    Nov 26, 2012 1:16 AM GMT
    Ask the brothers/their family directly. The best way to learn about the culture is directly from them, right?
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    Nov 26, 2012 1:25 AM GMT
    lol you've really nothing to worry about. The actually bar-mitzvah itself is rather boring. Mine was shorter than most thankfully (yay genesis torah portion). Depending on what type of jew they are, they'll mostly speak in hebrew and if non-orthodox, will have English translations and a speech. They provide yamakas/kippa for people, and you'll have to wear one while in temple.

    I would dress nicely, shirt and tie and some slacks.. don't NEED a coat. I'd suggest being clean shaven, but honestly, you're not really going to be included in the ceremony at all so you're call. You only need to dance if you want to- this all depends on where they have the party.

    What happens often, or at least with me and conservative jews, is that after the service, they have a lunch provided to mingle and chat. After eating and a couple more speeches, its off to the party venue (depending on a few things). The party is mostly for the kids.. so its a pre-teen dance..

    it'd bring a gift card if i were you since you don't seem to know the kid directly.. nothing special.


    if you've any other questions just let me know and email me. while my bar-mitzvah was forever ago, i've been to many and to my younger cousins.
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    Nov 26, 2012 1:27 AM GMT
    as for stuff to say.. just be yourself, but obviously don't scream out 'praise jesus' or anything stupid. just be polite. you'll find that jews aren't too different from many other religions.. since two big ones kinda are derived from it
  • thadjock

    Posts: 2183

    Nov 26, 2012 1:28 AM GMT
    No need to be nervous about a bar mitzvah,

    It's the bris you don't want any part of.
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    Nov 26, 2012 1:30 AM GMT
    thadjock saidNo need to nervous about a bar mitzvah,

    It's the bris you don't want any part of.


    Run!icon_eek.gif
  • comical44

    Posts: 723

    Nov 26, 2012 1:33 AM GMT
    Thank you for some of the information...very helpful..

    Do have to wear khaki's or black pants?....Could I wear any color shirt with a tie with a sweater over it Idk...stupid questions about I dont want to offend.


    Im not going to be made to participate in anything that would embarass me am I?


    Also....you guys know what I mean when I say this but im sure their will be drinking there and typically when your in these situations you have a cpl drinks....if I was able to do that I woudnnt feel as nervous but how the hell am I suppose to do that ?
  • thadjock

    Posts: 2183

    Nov 26, 2012 1:36 AM GMT
    Bustamante said
    thadjock saidNo need to nervous about a bar mitzvah,

    It's the bris you don't want any part of.


    Run!icon_eek.gif

    And always avoid the calamari
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    Nov 26, 2012 1:37 AM GMT
    they don't force you to drink, haha again its basically a kids party, depending on the venue. and there isn't anything i can think of that will put you in an awkward situation, you'll be fine. its really kinda lame to be honest, just be glad you aren't part of the family and have to go up and read from the torah, that's always been fun for me.
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    Nov 26, 2012 1:38 AM GMT
    comical44 saidSo the two brothers I mentor are going to their cousins Bar Mitzvah this weekend....Their grandparents would like me to attend. IM NERVOUS !!

    PLEASE HELP

    What can I expect?

    So I will be trvaeling a few hrs with only the Teens I Mentor.

    Ive only met their grandparents once and I do not know their unclesand cousins who will be there and I will not know one other person except the brothers and I barely know their grandparents.


    I didnt want to say No and be rude so I dont know what I got myself into!!


    What do I have to wear?

    Do I have to dance?

    Normally at this type of function when your nervous and dont know anyone you want to DRINK and I dont think that will look good because im their mentor? lol

    Do I have to be clean shaven?

    Do I have to give a gift?

    How long is this?

    Do I have to wear a Yamaka?

    Please dont laugh and if you read this and have information please respons to my questions...Im stressed lol...PLEASE


    I'm curious as to why you haven't googled this to learn more about the tradition and what is appropriate. There's oodles of authoritative information on the web. Why come to Real Jock first?

    "Think"
  • comical44

    Posts: 723

    Nov 26, 2012 1:40 AM GMT
    I did google It....I would rather hear from you guys first hand ya know...
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Nov 26, 2012 1:44 AM GMT
    If you are really nervous, you could contact the rabbi and explain your situation. He will be happy to explain.

    You could also look up bar mitzvah etiquette online under Miss Manners or Emily Post.

    This is a good chance for your mentorees to mentor you.

    The events that I have attended at synagogues were very cordial and welcoming. You'll have a good time and have a wonderful chance to overeat and meet some nice people.
  • thadjock

    Posts: 2183

    Nov 26, 2012 1:44 AM GMT
    comical44 saidThank you for some of the information...very helpful..

    Do have to wear khaki's or black pants?....Could I wear any color shirt with a tie with a sweater over it Idk...stupid questions about I dont want to offend.


    Im not going to be made to participate in anything that would embarass me am I?


    Also....you guys know what I mean when I say this but im sure their will be drinking there and typically when your in these situations you have a cpl drinks....if I was able to do that I woudnnt feel as nervous but how the hell am I suppose to do that ?


    Not to be harsh or anything but I would expect someone in a mentor position to have basic social graces well in hand. I mean seriously what the hell are you bringing to the mentor table if attending a simple bar mitzvah derails you?
  • comical44

    Posts: 723

    Nov 26, 2012 1:46 AM GMT
    thadjock said
    comical44 saidThank you for some of the information...very helpful..

    Do have to wear khaki's or black pants?....Could I wear any color shirt with a tie with a sweater over it Idk...stupid questions about I dont want to offend.


    Im not going to be made to participate in anything that would embarass me am I?


    Also....you guys know what I mean when I say this but im sure their will be drinking there and typically when your in these situations you have a cpl drinks....if I was able to do that I woudnnt feel as nervous but how the hell am I suppose to do that ?


    Not to be harsh or anything but I would expect someone in a mentor position to have basic social graces well in hand. I mean seriously what the hell are you bringing to the mentor table if attending a simple bar mitzvah derails you?



    I hope this is a joke?!...Ive never been to One of these and not even going to respond to that
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    Nov 26, 2012 2:04 AM GMT
    comical44 saidI did google It....I would rather hear from you guys first hand ya know...


    Fine. Bring a well presented platter of sliced tongue, kishka, and gefilte fish. Do not bring shrimp wrapped in bacon. Consider bringing something more "home cooked", like kishka or holishkies. A little kugel would also be thoughtful. THEN they will know you really cared and are truly a mentor and not just some guy who is trying to creep on their grandsons.
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    Nov 26, 2012 2:10 AM GMT
    Simply ask the family beforehand. The formality of Bar Mitzvahs can vary, depending on how orthodox the family and the Rabbi wish it to be. I presume they know you're not Jewish, so asking for guidance regarding attire, gifts, etc, would be seen as a considerate mark of respect.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Nov 26, 2012 2:10 AM GMT
    GAMRican, are you trying to make the guy a neurotic? It isn't a potluck!

    On the other hand, if you feel like cooking all of that up, you are welcome to stop by. It's all good stuff.
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    Nov 26, 2012 2:23 AM GMT
    The Bar mitzvahs I've attended we're all really long at 3+ hours, so if it takes place in the morning do not go hungry! Often there is some food available right in the Synagogue. Traditional Jewish food is an acquired taste. If you can talk about your questions with the grandparents.
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    Nov 26, 2012 2:24 AM GMT
    comical44 said
    thadjock said
    comical44 said

    Not to be harsh or anything but I would expect someone in a mentor position to have basic social graces well in hand. I mean seriously what the hell are you bringing to the mentor table if attending a simple bar mitzvah derails you?



    I hope this is a joke?!...Ive never been to One of these and not even going to respond to that



    But you did, and thadjock is right. If you're going to be a mentor then you need to be cognizant enough to do a "deep dive" of homework to know the protocol of the culture of an important family ritual before you go.

    I was once invited to attend a Japanese New Year celebration in Honolulu and felt it necessary to do extensive research on the occasion, the traditions, rituals, and other aspects of the culture. I attended, was quite welcome, and was quite well received by exhibiting a true and real interest and knowledge of the culture. I was able to ask the right questions about subtleties which I did not know about, and was even presented with a a gift of Niigata rice from one of the elders.

    I was also recently invited to he home of a Greek family at Easter. I was able to share the meaning behind the "red eggs" with the children. The parents were quite impressed and quite grateful that I was able to not only share in, but to pass on a very important aspect of Greek culture and tradition. They asked if I was Greek! (I whispered to my colleague, "Only by injection", to which she laughed.)

    Know before you go. Or, risk unintentionally coming across as a buffoon.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 26, 2012 2:53 AM GMT
    god i love that movie.. i forgot how good it is.. that line at the end of that clip is amazing.
  • fmrhugger

    Posts: 199

    Nov 26, 2012 3:05 AM GMT
    You'll be perfectly safe at a Bar Mitzvah. It's the Bris you need to watch out for!
  • thadjock

    Posts: 2183

    Nov 26, 2012 3:21 AM GMT
    GAMRican said

    But you did, and thadjock is right. If you're going to be a mentor then you need to be cognizant enough to do a "deep dive" of homework to know the protocol of the culture of an important family ritual before you go.


    I'm pretty sure the teens are more socially developed than their "mentor"
  • waccamatt

    Posts: 1918

    Nov 26, 2012 3:28 AM GMT
    Do you know if the bar mitzvah will be held in a reform, conservative or orthodox synagogue? As far as drinking is concerned, drinking is a major part of any Jewish function so as long as you don't get sloppy drunk you'll be ok. If it's an orthodox or conservative synagogue then you should wear a yarmulke or kippah and there will be a box of them available outside the sanctuary. If it is a reform synagogue then they are optional. You don't have to dance and you don't have to be clean shaven if you have a beard or goatee. If you know the name of the synagogue before you go you can look up much of this info before you go. You can also ask the teens you mentor. A coat and tie would be expected, as far as attire is concerned.