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Who From School Should I Invite to My Bar Mitzvah?

Who From School Should I Invite to My Bar Mitzvah?

By Vered Ornstein


A new school year is upon us, and with it comes a new onslaught of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. For those who are having a B Mitzvah during the upcoming school year, an ever relevant question comes into play: Do I have to invite my whole class to my big day?

In this article, we’ll break down the ins and outs of B Mitzvah invitations, and help answer the question of who from school you should invite to your celebration.

A certain etiquette around inviting your whole class to a birthday party has become common in American schools in recent years. In fact, some schools even have it stated as a rule that a party held by a student must include everyone. But a B Mitzvah is different from a normal birthday party, right? Yes and no. While a B Mitzvah is arguably the most important day of your life, marking your journey into becoming a Jewish adult, it is also, essentially, a commemoration of your 12th or 13th birthday. So, if your school has a policy about inviting a whole class to a birthday party, B Mitzvahs may fall into that category.

If your school does not explicitly state its invitation policy, there are a few rules of thumb you can keep in mind to help you make the decision of who to invite. The first is, if it’s small, invite them all. This means that if you have a small class or grade size, it’s probably best to invite everyone, as leaving only a few people out can feel hurtful or exclusionary. This is especially true in private schools both Jewish and secular, as classes there tend to be smaller and more intimate.

If you attend a private school and your grade is more than, say, 50 people, there is some leeway in the idea that you should invite everyone. As a general rule of thumb for classes any larger than this, you should invite all, half, or none. Working in these intervals will make sure that if you’re being selective about who to invite, you’re not leaving out just a handful of people.

For B Mitzvah teens that attend public school or otherwise large schools, it is not realistic to invite one’s entire class. In this case, you can be more selective about who to invite, but it’s important to do so with discretion. Though the anticipation for your big day is super exciting, try not to be boastful or loud about it in front of people you’re not planning on inviting, as this can make your peers feel left out. Also, keep in mind that you may be one of the only Jewish people in your class, meaning that your B Mitzvah is one of the few opportunities for your classmates to experience Judaism! In that sense, inviting as many people as possible can be a great opportunity to show an important part of yourself to your friends and peers.

If you’re still unsure about whether or not to invite your entire class to your B Mitzvah, consider hosting a small party just for classmates separate from the main event. That way, you can have your group of close friends with you on the actual day and also make sure everyone at school feels included. Ask your teachers or principal if you can throw a small celebration with your whole class during a free period or after school, or invite everyone to a local park or pool the weekend after your actual B Mitzvah.

With these tips in tow, the school year and B Mitzvah season are ready to launch back into full swing!

Posted in Mitzvah Advice

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