bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah planning guide
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Popular Party Themes
Whether or not to add a theme to a Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration is not so much a matter of debate but of personal preference. If a theme will detract from your celebration, forget it! You don’t need one to have a meaningful spiritual and family experience. If a theme will add some fun to your celebration without detracting from the experience, then go for it! Always consult the Bar/Bat Mitzvah for suggested themes, but remember, a theme often involves extra work and expense, so be prepared. Here are a few of the many possible themes you might use.

Sports Theme
Use football, baseball, soccer ball shaped balloons.
Favor could be personalized balls, rackets, pucks, etc.
Centerpiece could include miniature "sports" ball or foam board cut-outs.
A blow-up of your child's favorite pose.

Television/Movies Theme
(Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, Gone With the Wind, etc.)
Use life-size cardboard stand-ups for decoration (often found at party stores).
Name the tables different characters (placecards could read: Mr./Mrs. Guest are seated at the Rhett Butler table).
Movie or TV props could be incorporated into the centerpieces.

Hollywood Stars Theme
Your sign-in or welcome board could read: Now Appearing or The Star of the Show is (child's name) along with a blow-up picture of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child.
Each table could be named for a popular star i.e., Tom Cruise, John Travolta.
Centerpieces and namecards could include a Hollywood theme.

Israeli Theme
Each table could be names for a different city in Israel.
Decorations and balloons could be blue and white.
Israeli flags could be used in the centerpiece.

Hobby or Collections Theme
(art, stamps, coins, Beanie Babies)
Favors could be hobby supplies like sketch or notepads.
Placecards could also be decorated and imcorporated into theme.

Candy Theme
Use Hershey Kiss balloons in the centerpiece.
You can give a solid chocolate 6-8 ounce Hershey Kiss to your candle lighting honorees.
Your female guests could receive a chocolate rose.
Use personalized king-size candy bars as favors (see novelty section)

Torah Portion
Lessons from the weekly torah portion come to life!
Tables named for figures, tribes, or places prominent in the weekly reading.
Crafts to make include take-home Israeli-style favors.
Create an Israel marketplace with cafe´ tables or pillow areas inside tents like ancient days.
“Torah” scroll sign-in book
Klezmer music and Israel dance instructor.

Oscar Party
Use Oscar-shaped invitations.
Tables: Medium sized silver bowls filled with peaches and plums to be used as centerpieces for each table. (They look very nice and serve a practical purpose.)
To entertain your guests before or after the event play a home made video of the child and his/her friends as if they are on T.V. by acting like their favorite actors and directors talking about how they felt about winning an Oscar.
Every kid receives miniature Oscar key chains (found at party store).
Life-sized stand-up figures of Oscar winners for photographs with favorite fans.
Caricaturist drawing fans with Oscar winners.

Grand Prix or NASCAR
Black and white checkered paper on tables. Decorate with checkered flags and red, white and black balloons.
Tables named for different races (Daytona 500, Pocono 500), tracks (California Speedway, Darlington raceway), or drivers.
Remote control raceway as an activity Race posters as souvenirs.
Stand-up figures of NASCAR favorites like Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. or Bobby Allison

Stroll Down Broadway
Theatre marque, spotlights and flashing neon to create atmosphere.
Each table could be named for a different play.
Sign-in board with the Bar/Bat Mitzvah on the cover of a Playbill

Hanukkah/Havdallah Bar Mitzvah
Give the Bar/Bat Mitzvah a Havdallah set of their own to remember through the years. Distribute spice bags filled with cloves, which can be made or purchased. They smell delicious and are given out just before the Havdallah service begins. They can be personalized with ribbon. Use Hanukkah party bags as placecards for the reception. Fill it with a bear with a kippah and Jewish star, a golden dreidel and a bag of pareve chocolate gelt. Tie it with ribbon and attach a gift bag/placecard. Dress the tables with more dreidels and chocolate gelt. Hand make the Bar/Bat Mitzvah’s Tallit. Counted crosstitch is pretty easy and very nice. Some people paint on silk which is beautiful also. Purchase crocheted doilies and decorate them for the ladies’ head coverings. You’ll love seeing people wearing them over and over again.

Submitted by Deborah Burman Carasso, Unique Invitations (1-877-837-9122)

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