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B Mitzvah Burning Questions
March 14th, 2023

B Mitzvah Burning Questions

When Mitzvah planning, we try to tick off all the boxes, answer all the big questions, and provide the best resources for the planning parent. But you may have a question specific to you and your unique planning needs- that’s where our Burning B Mitzvah Questions Box comes into play. Use the box below to ask your most pressing Mitzvah questions, completely anonymously, and we’ll have our expert vendors give their thoughts.

Happy Mitzvah planning!


Burning B Mitzvah Questions

How much should I expect to spend on catering? What's the best way to word my invitation? Who should I invite to the party? Whatever B Mitzvah planning question you have, we've got answers.
Ask your burning question, completely anonymously, and we'll have our expert vendors weigh in.
B Mitzvah TikTok Roundup
March 8th, 2023

B Mitzvah TikTok Roundup

We’ve already shared our favorite TikTok accounts and creators for party planning, but sometimes, especially amidst the stress of B Mitzvah planning you just need a good laugh or a hit of that warm and fuzzy nostalgia feeling. Here’s a roundup on the funniest, most interesting, and most heartwarming B Mitzvah TikToks on the app. Happy scrolling!

What’s crazier than an over the top B Mitzvah party? One packed full of A-list celebrities! This clip taken at Adam Sandler’s daughter’s Bat Mitzvah shows Jennifer Aniston, Charlie Puth, and of course, the Sandman himself living it up at the enormous party.


bat mitzvahs >>

♬ Day n Nite Crookers Remix – 777

This creator got a kick out of introducing her non-Jewish boyfriend to the fun and craziness of a B Mitzvah celebration, showing him learning his way around the dancefloor while doing his best to act natural.


my unorthodox life

♬ Hava Nagila – The Jewish Starlight Orchestra

One of the many bright sides of a B Mitzvah is that is has the power to bring people together, even if just for one weekend. This creator proved this when she showed her divorced parents putting on a united front for her brother’s Bar Mitzvah, joking that they’re just “one big happy family”.


One big happy family!🥰 #fyp #family #love

♬ Fabulous – Molls

B Mitzvahs aren’t just fun for the kids, but for the vendors too! A Mitzvah dancer showed just how much fun her job is, bringing energy and excitement to teens on their big days.


Best job ever (: #barmitzvah #batmitzvah #mitzvah #jewish #jewishtiktok #jewishcheck #fyp #viral

♬ original sound – ✨BE SEAN✨

For some, a big celebration and party during the awkward teen years doesn’t always pan out to be the best night of their lives. The creator below gave herself a redo 20 years after her Bat Mitzvah by throwing herself a birthday party with the theme “2003 Bat Mitzvah”, showing that it’s never too late to make your mark as a B Mitzvah.


This is your sign to throw yourself a themed birthday party for a year that isn’t even a big deal! #y2k #batmitzvah #themeparty

♬ Come Clean – Hilary Duff

Another birthday themed as an early aughts Bat Mitzvah party. Because fun is one thing that never goes out of style.


#batmitzvah #2006 #middleschooldance

♬ One, Two Step (feat. Missy Elliott) – Ciara


The Best Jewish Holidays to Throw a B Mitzvah
March 8th, 2023

The Best Jewish Holidays to Throw a B Mitzvah

A B Mitzvah is already the greatest celebration in a young Jew’s life, filled with fun, challenge, celebration, and Jewish values. Though every B Mitzvah is special in its own rite, when your big day lines up with a Jewish holiday, it can lead to even more sentiment and fun! If you’re trying to pick the perfect date for an upcoming Mitzvah, take a look at the calendar and see if any of these holidays fall around your date for an extra special day.


Purim is one of the most fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. Partying, eating, and dressing up in costumes are all popular traditions for the holiday that usually occurs sometime in March or April. A Purim B Mitzvah is the perfect excuse to go all out with a crazy theme or have an epic costume party that will really stand out.


Simchat Torah

The most important part of a B Mitzvah is taking an aliyah and reading from the Torah, so what better time is there to have one than on the holiday celebrating the Torah itself? Simchat Torah is a huge celebration that encourages partying and dancing and comes at the end of the cluster of big Jewish holidays in the fall. Since you start the Torah over from the beginning on this day, if your B Mitzvah comes right after Simchat Torah, your Torah reading could be one of the exciting and iconic stories of Creation: Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, etc. 


Chanukah is so many people’s favorite holiday for a good reason. A full 8 days to bask in beautiful lights, give gifts, and celebrate Jewish resilience. A Chanukah Mitzvah has built-in branding and can open the door for all sorts of unique B Mitzvah elements, like lighting a Menorah instead of a candle ceremony. Bonus points if Chanukah falls around Thanksgiving and you can host a ThanksMitzvaKah!



Shavuot is a lesser known holiday that is also known as the Feast of Weeks, and it is both a harvest festival and a day to celebrate the ancient Israelites receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. Since it’s a spring holiday, customary Shavuot decor is big on florals and greenery which lends itself to so many decorating possibilities. If you’re a dairy lover, this is the day for you, since dairy foods are the staple of Shavuot- and who doesn’t love cheesecake?!


A Sukkot Mitzvah can be super out-of-the-box, literally. On Sukkot, all meals are eaten in an outdoor structure called a Sukkah decorated with greenery, florals, fruits, and artwork. This holiday feels very connected to nature and the outdoors and lends itself to a really unique B Mitzvah experience. You could throw your party in a massive Sukkah, complete with a dancefloor and all the other party essentials. You could even throw a slumber party for the B Mitzvah teen’s friends, since it’s a popular tradition to sleep in the Sukkah!

Cute Dancefloor Design Ideas
February 24th, 2023

Cute Dancefloor Design Ideas

The dancefloor of your B Mitzvah party is like the center of the party’s universe. It’s the visual and literal focal point of your space, and it’s the place everyone wants to be! So how do you make your dancefloor exciting and enticing? Here are some unique and fun ways to do up the dancefloor and make it the life of the party.

Getting a custom floor or vinyl wrapping is the easiest way to give your dancefloor some personality. Try an intriguing pattern in your theme colors, or brand it with your party logo!

Check out these logo designers who can capture your party’s personality.

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Use lighting for an easy and cost-effective way to totally transform the vibe of any party space. 

Now that’s what we call a fabulous Dancefloor!

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Neon and LED floors bring a cool nightclub aesthetic to the space, getting people in the mood to move.

Festa de 15 Anos / Festa de Debutante / I want this Dance Floor

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Based in Los Angeles for over 20 years, we have been providing tv/movie studios/concerts with high quality products. On Etsy, we can now make some of them available to you here. Our holographic floor vinyl is a colorful, full spectrum, 3D type roll of vinyl with REMOVABLE ADHESIVE for all types of applications including floors, walls and displays. GREAT for dance floors on any smooth floor surface! They light up with any room lighting. - Rolls are 38 inches wide X 25 feet (75 square feet) or 50

Minimalist designs tie the space together in a more subtle, lowkey way.

Let's make your event uniQ :) Our dance floor coverings will add flair and beauty to your Wedding, Corporate event, Bar & Bat Mitzvah, Quinceranera, etc. The product is composed of a high gloss vinyl resistant to scuffs and tears. Easy to apply on all standard smooth dance floor surfaces. The adhesive used is a pressure sensitive low tack adhesive designed not to damage banquet hall surfaces. We are able to accommodate any design; customizations are available. If you have a design, we are able t

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A luxurious trend in dancefloor design is transparent, floral-filled floors that are absolutely showstopping.

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Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with different shapes of dancefloors that will transform your space into something totally unique.

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To make party planning as stress-free as possible, consider one of these incredible event planners who will take care of it all so you can enjoy yourself on the big day. Happy planning!


Being a Jewish Adult in Post Biblical Times
February 21st, 2023

Being a Jewish Adult in Post Biblical Times

When my daughter turned 1, I had a friend who – instead of wishing her a happy birthday – congratulated me for “making it”. This concept kind of stopped me in my tracks and made me raise an eyebrow. But it was true, yes I did make it. Because as a new mom, you kind of forget that you exist.

This memory randomly came back to me this week as I was packing favor bags and checking things off my to-do list for my daughter’s upcoming bat mitzvah.

I was thinking how at the age of 1, I thought I made it. I got my child to day 365. I safely delivered her to one full rotation around the sun. In those days, everything was a fog and I don’t know if I even realized how big of a deal that was. In those days, I barely had time to brush my teeth, so the concept of achieving anything wasn’t even on my radar screen.

However, I’m starting to think we deserve that compliment again, as our children are becoming Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. I have once again delivered her to a momentous occasion. She is becoming an adult in the eyes of the Jewish people. Interestingly enough, her Bat Mitzvah falls one day after her thirteenth birthday. So, she in fact has now rotated around the sun 13 times or 4,746 days.

In my temple’s Bat Mitzvah manual,  it talks about what it meant to become an adult in the eyes of the Jewish people during biblical times. It talks about how at this point, a child’s parents absolve themselves from the fault of their actions. They are now an adult and they need to take responsibility for themselves. It equally states that upon this occasion, children – now adults – were ready to marry, and become parents themselves, procuring the next generation of Jewish people.

For many reasons I’m very happy I do not live in biblical times – no offense to biblical times. But that one sentence really struck me. My baby, whom it feels like just turned one year old, was ready to be an adult and become a mother.

What a crazy concept when you start to actually think about that. But also, I understand in biblical times life expectancy was not what it is today so people had to hop to it. Plus, they did not have Netflix, so what else was there to do?

But as all of us are going through this right now and dealing with all the emotions involved in becoming the parent of a B Mitzvah, imagine also if when you got home from your party, you packed up your child’s swag and sweatshirts, and shipped them off to their new spouse’s house! Are any of us ready to be grandparents at this stage? NO!

So what does it mean for a child to become an adult in this day and age? Well for one, Google sent me an email saying my daughter’s email account terms would change. I don’t know why, but that struck me hard.

Equally, she can now get her own credit card and decide on her own if the overpriced athletic shorts she wants are worth the price.

More than that, I am unsure. Can she no longer order off the kid’s menu, or did that stop when she was ten? We haven’t been to a restaurant in a while…

Last weekend we attended a friend’s son’s service. In his adorable medium-pitched voice, he finished his speech with “Now I’m a man, I can do manly things… like shave my non-existent mustache” and then he cracked up. It was absolutely adorable and one of the funniest Bar Mitzvah speeches I have ever heard. But it made me think: if this was biblical times, would this child-man be told to take a wife and set up his own home? That is just crazy!

In addition, if my daughter went off to be someone’s wife, who would tell her to clean her room, shut off lights, put away her “self-care journey” items, and close her drawers?

But all joking aside, no matter what “becoming an adult in the eyes of the Jewish people” means to your child – and I believe it means something different to each one- it is a huge milestone and something so important.

Whether it be thinking about where Judaism fits into your life now that you are a Hebrew school “graduate”, the desire to go to Israel, or just incorporating tikkun olam into your life without your mom telling you to do it, our babies are now adults. 

As I mentioned in my speech, when a person becomes a parent, they invest so much into this new little being trying to prepare them for life, adulthood, etc. But much like we don’t get a manual when this child is born, we don’t get an alert telling us that it worked. Or maybe we do, and this day is our green light.

With that said, find me a parent who is sitting in their synagogue on the day of their child’s mitzvah gazing up at them chanting Torah – like our forefathers – and I guarantee you’ll find a parent who sees their child as so much more than a child in that moment.

At that point, I hope they stop, look around, and realize that they made it too. Mazl Tov — to you both. 

Stacey Wallenstein is the founder of the parenting & lifestyle blog The Mint Chip Mama. Visit her website at and find her across all socials at @themintchipmama.

Spotlight: Pretty in Pink Mitzvah
February 21st, 2023

Spotlight: Pretty in Pink Mitzvah

Let’s think pink…with a chic twist. Bat Mitzvah girls Lucy and Serena recently celebrated their Pretty in Pink inspired party with an elevated, sophisticated theme that set it apart from typical pink parties. With the help of Melisa Imberman and her team at The Event of a Lifetime, the party was branded as “LetS…”, incorporating the girls’ first initials into a neat and versatile package.

Instead of relying on classic pink motifs to carry themselves, the color scheme highlighted the girls’ individuality, with purple and blue standing out on their own, and also coming together to make a pretty pink hue. To add a little edginess, black anchoring on the letters made everything really pop.

Mitzvah mom and the girls of honor alike were major fans of florals, so flowers were prominently featured throughout the party. Lush floral centerpieces anchored with stunning candelabras sat tall on the round tables, and the long tables were lined with robust bouquets.

Both types of tables boasted a black lacquer finish, adding to the cool contrast between frilly and formal. This unique, modern motif could be seen everywhere throughout the party, from the table settings, to the showstopping dance floor, and more. For even more character, black fringe and lights were strung high above the dance floor.

The LetS theme came in handy when designing different elements of the party, like cocktail napkins and menus.

Adults and kids had their own bars, the former matching the dance floor, and the latter reading LetS Party!

There was no lack of entertainment, from shooting hoops, relaxing on gorgeous black suede couches in the color blocked lounge, taking photos against the ornate paper flower wall, and getting custom nail printings.


The DJ was accompanied by a violinist, saxophonist, and percussionist, and guests could join in on the live music fun by dancing and taking turns on the bongos.

Bat Mitzvah girls Lucy and Serena were the queens of the night- their thrones were personalized ghost chairs that guests used to sign in.

To top off the night, the beautifully branded cake incorporated all of the black and floral elements of the party.

Guests took home memories and swag from the unforgettable night, leaving with everything from T shirts, to tote bags, sweatpants, and even adorable stuffed animals.

As the night wound down, guests were treated to a sundae bar of edible cookie dough, choosing their favorite flavors and toppings! Some enjoyed the snack there, and others took theirs to go in specially branded takeout cups.

Many teens dream of a pretty, pink Mitzvah party, and The Event of a Lifetime’s take on it took the classic theme to a whole new modern level. So, if you’re asking if you should mix edgy and elegant for your B Mitzvah party, the answer is: LetS!


Photos by Sarah Merians Photography


Month Before the Mitzvah To-Do
February 16th, 2023

Month Before the Mitzvah To-Do


Your invitations are out. Your RSVPs are in. It is go time! It is time to finalize everything for your mitzvah. So what needs to get done?

The answer is – SO MUCH!

I have been searching for a comprehensive relatable “to do list” for a type-A New Yorker and haven’t found one to the detail I desired… So, I decided to write my own. I thought you may also find it helpful. With that said, the first step is accepting we are all a little nuts. But then again, so are our parties.

Presenting the Neurotic Jewish Mom’s Pre-Mitzvah To-Do List:

Pre-Mitzvah Preparation

1. Self-Care Journey

  • Coordinate hair and makeup trials for pre or temple photo shoots
  • Make haircut appointments for the males in your family
  • Confirm hair and makeup appointments for day of party
  • Make nail appointments
  • Do your eyebrows
  • Pluck out the weird hair in your arm that you always forget about
  • Shave your armpits and legs
  • Pull out gray hairs
  • Realize sit-ups would have been a good idea a month ago


2. Photographer

  • Set up your temple photoshoot and pre-shoot
  • Coordinate the timing of formal pictures (day of) and give the extended family a timeline
  • Discuss photo album options


3. Attire

  • Confirm service attire for all family members
  • Confirm party attire for all family members
  • Order Spanx, try them on with your dress
  • Bring all clothing to tailor
  • Confirm your shoes fit
  • Confirm your children’s shoes fit
  • Tell your husband to order new shoes, knowing he will want them last minute
  • Pick socks, try them on with event shoes, and set them aside so they are clean
  • Make sure any boys/men have white undershirts to wear under their dress shirts
  • Buy belts if boys are wearing suits
  • Have a family dress rehearsal to make sure everything matches and fits
  • Decide on jewelry, try it on to make sure it matches, and the length works


4. Favors

  • Order favors – decide if you’re getting all one size, if not request sizes from guests
  • Decide on favor bags
  • Decide on a name label for bags
  • Match up favor and size with name label
  • Label and stuff bags
  • Confirm swag for adults like flip-flops or slippers
  • Order earplugs for adults


5. Housekeeping

  • 1-2 weeks prior, send out electronic reminders confirming RSVP
  • Send an email about the mitzvah project
  • Invite your family to the Friday night service, and confirm honors
  • Figure out all gratuities and get cash
  • Decide where the mitzvah gift money will live – five-year CD? Bank account?
  • Make sure thank you notes are ready
  • Buy stamps
  • Start saving “good boxes” to bring stuff to your venue
  • Return everything to Amazon so it’s out of your house


For The Service

1. Religious Items

  • Order yarmulkes
  • Get a basket for yarmulkes
  • Order Tallis 


2. Honors

  • Finalize your aliyah list and ask for Hebrew names if needed
  • If you are doing a Torah portion at the service, practice it out loud and without vowels
  • Send all Hebrew reading parts to honorees so they can practice
  • Send all English reading parts to honorees so they can practice
  • Confirm the people whom you want to honor with lifting/carrying the Torah can lift/carry it


3. Food & Water

  • Finalize details for kiddush or oneg if having one
  • Confirm candy to throw with the temple and put in a basket
  • Bring a cup with a straw for the mitzvah child to keep on the bema


4. Speech

  • Write and edit your speech
  • Practice it out loud
  • Go slower


5. Housekeeping

  • Submit picture and mitzvah project for temple newsletter
  • Include the child’s name in the book of honor


For The Party

1. Venue

  • Finalize menu
  • Confirm special dietary restricts for guests
  • Finalize attendee count
  • Finalize adult drinks and mocktails
  • Finalize placement of your vendors
  • Confirm how and when to pay and get a certified check if needed
  • Confirm table sizes for adults
  • Confirm the date to drop everything off before the party: favor bags, baskets, etc.


2. Seating

  • Create a seating table chart
  • Order seating chart poster or place cards
  • If doing seating poster, confirm venue has an easel
  • Confirm the venue has table number cards they can use or order special ones if not


3. Party Décor

  • If you’re bringing stuff the maître will set up, confirm your vision with him/her
  • Charge anything that lights up
  • Put together the box for envelopes/gifts
  • Complete bathroom basket


4. Candle lighting

  • If you are doing DIY candle lighting décor, do a mockup
  • Decide on the number of candles and honored guests
  • Write rhyming poems for each candle


5. Speech

  • Write and edit your speech
  • Practice it out loud
  • Go slower
  • If siblings are making speeches have them practice out loud


6. DJ

  • Confirm party dancers, add more if needed
  • Set up a call with MC to go over your vision
  • Make a list of “must play” and “do not play” songs
  • Decide on an entry song for each member of your family
  • Make a separate bag for giveaways and prizes
  • Decide who is doing the blessings
  • Confirm songs for your candle lighting
  • Pick who goes up in chairs, and make sure DJ knows the ceiling height
  • Decide on the type of hora you would like
  • Decide if you want games like Coke and Pepsi 


7. Cake

  • Order cake if your venue does not provide one
  • Confirm cake pick up or delivery and when the venue will accept it
  • If picking up, confirm store hours and payment options


8. Photo Booth

  • Confirm backdrop
  • Make special prop requests


In Conclusion

With all the above said, if you have vendors who take care of these things, good for you! If not, you got this. It will all get done. The most important part is that you are now ready to watch your beautiful baby read from the Torah and become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

Remember, that is what this day is all about.

Other than that, get ready to party. You did it! Pat yourself on the back because no matter what, you are about to have the most spectacular event ever!

Also, it’s ok if the UPS store lady is not only invited to your party but gets a candle… Thanks for scanning my QR codes so I can run out the door, UPS lady please come up and light candle number four. We all know she’s played a big role in this day too.

Stacey Wallenstein is the founder of the parenting & lifestyle blog The Mint Chip Mama. Visit her website at and find her across all socials at @themintchipmama.

Spotlight: NASA B Mitzvah Party
February 14th, 2023

Spotlight: NASA B Mitzvah Party

Everyone hopes their B Mitzvah party will be out of this world exciting… and for Bar Mitzvah boy David, his dream came true! Along with Stephanie Feldman from Cutie Patootie Creations, David decided to go galactic with a NASA and Space themed party at the Farmer’s Table Boca Raton.


Before the big day, Stephanie and her team designed formal invitations that kept the space theme in suspense. 

Once guests arrived, they were blasted off into the party’s orbit and set out to find which planet themed table they’d be sitting at, each with its own planetary personality.

For a true exploratory experience, the centerpieces featured mini planets suspended in water, giving the illusion of floating through space.

As the luncheon kicked off (with delicious food that would make astronauts jealous!), David and his family were all smiles. They lit candles that were decorated reminiscent of space rocks, danced the Hora, and celebrated the huge accomplishment of becoming a Bar Mitzvah.

As the party wrapped up and the spaceship came back down to Earth, guests picked up their swag- sweaters and chocolate bars branded with the iconic NASA logo featuring David’s name.


For one incredible afternoon, David’s guests were welcomed into his own universe, celebrating his first year around the sun as a Jewish adult. Though they never actually left the ground, this party certainly took off to spectacular new heights.


Photography by Wendy J Studios


Invitations, Centerpieces, Table Seating Chart, Table Numbers, Chocolate Bars and Candle lighting – Cutie Patootie Creations:
Venue – Farmers Table Boca Raton – Nicole Yellin – Banquet Mgr.
Rabbi/Cantor Risa – Service was before the party at the venue 
Chocolate Bars – Cutie Patootie Creations 
Chocolate Covered Oreos – Favor It Things by Danielle 
DJ – MBC Entertainment Michael Collins
Logo- Finer Grafx Michael Feinberg
Sweatshirts – Stitching Gone Wild
Tips for Branding a B Mitzvah
February 10th, 2023

Tips for Branding a B Mitzvah

What came first- the B Mitzvah theme or the logo?

In reality, the two go hand-in-hand. Modern B Mitzvahs are almost always branded with a theme that effects everything from the invitations, to the decorations, to the party favors taken home at the end of the night. While some branding falls easily into place, it can be really hard to pin down something that will represent your big day for years to come. Here are our best tips for brainstorming a brand for your B Mitzvah.

Sometimes, a good theme is all you need to get the ball rolling on your branding. If your teen wants to have a theme like sports, theater, animals, or something similar, that provides a great jumping off point for what their logo or swag may look like. For example, a basketball fan can overlay their initials and the date of their Mitzvah with a graphic of a slam dunk, or use an already existing brand like Nike, Adidas, the NBA, etc, replacing the original text with their name. Broadway lovers can make a playbill-style logo, or use theater motifs like spotlights and a stage to feature their name or initials.

Jake took basketball and golf, his two favorite sports, to make a simple yet distinctive logo.

Annie’s name and love for theater was the perfect opportunity to play off of Annie the musical!


However, if you have no idea what you want your theme to be, it can be hard to materialize one out of nowhere. Start with the basics: have your teen make a list of their favorite hobbies or things that are important to them. Maybe it’s nature, or candy, or books- branding doesn’t have to stick to just one element, it can (and should) bring together all the things that represent your teen and makes them happy. 

Go beyond material interests and think about the design elements, too. Does your teen love to doodle hearts? Do they always wear tie-dye, or live for their neon lights in their bedroom? All of these can be incorporated into the branding to make something that is uniquely them!

Reese’s blingy logo showed personality and flair, all sealed with a kiss.

A Mitzvah catchphrase or slogan is another popular way of branding the party, and it usually involves some pun or play on the Mitzvah teen’s name or initials. If you’re at a loss on how to come up with a clever slogan, try taking your teen’s initials and making a list of adjectives that start with each letter. Amazing, Brilliant, Colorful, Darling… these will help get your creative juices flowing. Do the same thing with some verbs: Adore, Believe, Celebrate, Dance…

Once you have these lists, you can play around with sentences and phrases that flow and fit your vibe. You can even choose a word or phrase that just has your child’s initials or nickname in it, and put it in bold when creating your branding for a subtle touch. 

A Bar Mitzvah boy with the last name Topf branded his party as “Topf of His Game”

Ryan L is a fearless kid, as proven by this subtle and well-balanced branding.

As with everything in Mitzvah planning, there are highly skilled party planners and designers who can help you craft the perfect branding, logo, and anything in between for your big day.  who specialize in all things B Mitzvah branding and will bring your unique vision to life!

Writing Mitzvah Speeches
February 7th, 2023

Writing Mitzvah Speeches

I am a writer. So, when the time came to write the speech for my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, it was an emotional journey for me – as you can imagine. Wait let me start again… I am an emotional writer, so when it came time to write the speech for my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah I couldn’t stop crying. Is that better?

This is my first child’s Bat Mitzvah. My daughter, my baby girl, my pride, and joy. This is the little girl who used to have blonde hair, wear tiny vertical pigtails, and hold my hand as we walked up and down Third Avenue. This is the little girl whom I pushed in every swing, in every park on the Upper East Side, twice. This is the girl who always had a big smile on her face and goodness exuding through her body. One who settled into a new suburban house on a Friday and came home with new friends on Monday. Equally, this is a girl to whom I’ve never once had to say “go do your homework” or ask if she studied for a test. She just does and did, and then gets the best marks in class. This is my daughter, my baby, my dream come true, my best friend.

OK, I’m already crying.

So how do you sit down to write a speech about someone you love so much? How do you perfectly couple all of the above but also not be so “mom lame”?

Do you talk about the hours of labor you endured? First steps? First words? First shoes? First day of school? Yes. But as we know, in between all of those big moments, there are many small moments that we cannot put into words. These little moments we hold so dear, that is quite simple – life. 

When you look at your child now, it’s hard to remember them as a little baby because, in the blink of an eye, they are now this teenager (and possibly taller than you).

Hopefully, you can still see this shadow in the brooding, grunting, hoody-wearing, phone drone who now keeps their door closed. The same door they used to beg to keep open because they couldn’t fall asleep otherwise.

More crying.

Oy. How am I going to stand up and do this in front of people, twice!? Maybe I should send a prerecorded message like a celebrity Cameo.

I was recently talking to a friend who is the mom of a girl my daughter met in nursery school. We used to sit in my backyard and chat as our younger boys slept in their strollers and the girls played on the swings. I am pretty sure this was yesterday. However, actually yesterday, we coordinated carpooling to the Bat Mitzvah of another girl they met in nursery school. Neither of us understood how we got from there to here.

So, what does one say in a speech? And how does one differentiate what one says on the bema versus at the party? Two totally different “vibes.”

In thinking about this, I realized it’s really a speech with an audience of one. Because much like a montage, it is a public, tangible love letter to your child. It is a forum to humble brag, roast, and kvell with a side of “you will always be my baby.” The key is to exit stage left before someone goes looking for a hook to pull you off.

Of course, parents talk about achievements in school and extracurricular activities, but the truth is, a parent is proud of their kid no matter what they do. It’s simply pride that parents want to convey.

In writing both speeches, I found myself emphasizing different things. My temple speech was very near and dear to my heart since it is the temple my grandparents founded 70 years ago. It is a place that’s played a pivotal role my whole life – where my mom and I both became Bat Mitzvahs, my parents got married, my husband and I had our Auf Ruf, my daughter was named, and where my second son had his bris. It’s also where my grandma sang in the choir and my grandpa blew the shofar. I spoke of how my daughter standing on that bema was like her standing on the shoulders of her ancestors, and for her to feel the weight and beauty of that moment. I sprinkled in some highlights about her, her mitzvah project, and how it all came together. Plus, you know, Torah stuff. I spoke of how she is not only a legacy to our family but to our temple, and that this should all mean something to her. I also pointed out how important it is to acknowledge that we live somewhere with religious freedom and that we can openly witness our child becoming an adult in the eyes of the Jewish people.

The party speech is a total 180, and much lighter. There is a little humor, a little sentiment, and some poking fun. I say things about scholastic, athletic, and musical achievements, highlight some extracurriculars, yadda yadda yadda. Here I’m looking for a 40/60 split of touching and comical. I was trying to explain the art of a roast to my nine-year-old. I said it is a loving mock. Like he can say to her “I love our heart-to-heart chats, like when I ask you to play, and you respond” “Ugh! You’re so annoying, leave me alone.” In this speech, I just want to be funny and get the spirit up in the room. I think it is also nice to publicly highlight what makes your kid a little different and special despite their desire to just be the same as their friends.

In closing, when these speeches end, I want my audience of one to take away that she is here because of so many others, she is the next generation – now blessed to carry on our people. She is loved, we are proud, and even if she does not remember holding my hand and walking up Third Avenue, I do. Because I am and forever will be her keeper of memories. I am her mother and I will love her forever, even when she closes the door in my face. 

Stacey Wallenstein is the founder of the parenting & lifestyle blog The Mint Chip Mama. Visit her website at and find her across all socials at @themintchipmama.