A bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah is one of the most important days of a young person’s life. Families are often looking for original ways to celebrate this special event and need new bar mitzvah ideas. Bar and Bat mitzvah tours to Israel are an exciting – and often life changing – way to mark the passing of childhood and a youth’s acceptance into the wider community as a young adult.
Parents and grandparents in America naturally want to make a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah special. There’s a growing feeling that the current way of doing things – big wedding style parties with entertainers, professional caterers and a huge guest list – has gone too far in the wrong direction. Many parents (and kids) want a more meaningful bar mitzvah experience.
There’s a new interest in bar mitzvah tours that allow youth to connect with their Jewish heritage on a meaningful level. Not everybody is looking for a religious bar mitzvah, but there is an appetite for a deeper and more spiritual experience. If your family is looking for bar and bat mitzvah ideas, read on. This article tells you everything you need to know about how to plan bar mitzvah trips to Israel.
Some Meaningful Bar and Bat Mitzvah Ideas
- Spend the year prior to the ceremony volunteering part time in the community, perhaps with holocaust survivors or others facing adversity.
- Research your family histories and family tree as a way to understand your own heritage. Create an online presentation for family and friends.
- Visit Israel and have your bar or bat mitzvah ceremony at the Wailing Wall, Masada, or another special site.
3 Ideas For an Unforgettable Bat and Bar Mitzvah Tour
How wonderful would it be to spend one of the most memorable moments in a young Jewish person’s life in the country of Jewish history and tradition? How amazing would it be to have a bat or bar mitzvah tour in the land where so many have gone through this important ceremony, and in some of the most special places for Jews all around the world? Israel has such massive significance for generations upon generations of youth who’ve had their Bar/Bat Mitzvah here, surrounded by the people they love, together creating the most special of memories.
Luckily for us, unlike our ancestors, now we can choose the country and the site where we’d like to go for our all inclusive bar mitzvah tour, and we can choose the places we want to see while there. Here are some suggestions for three unforgettable bar mitzvah tours in Israel.
Modernity Meets Antiquity: Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Haifa
We’ve just started, and already we’re in a world-famous city. Tel Aviv is the city of both traditional and international culture, art, and cuisine. There’s so much for us to see here, worthy of this special occasion. We start with a visit to the charming and fragrant Nachalat Benyamin Market and Carmel Market. To learn of the history, the country, its capital, and its military, we go to the Palmach Museum, Ayalon Institute, the Diaspora museum, but also the wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the White City and Beit Guvrin. We stop at the Independence Hall, as well as the Rabin’s Square where Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin was assassinated. We walk through Neve Tzedek and Old Jaffa and follow this up with Artist’s Quarter, and Nahalat Benyamin mall, for some street music, arts, and crafts. Tel Aviv may not come close to Jerusalem’s historical or religious significance, but it’s an amazing and vibrant modern city and a must-have destination for all family tours to Israel!
Next up, we take a drive to Caesarea – the capital of Judea in the Roman period and fortified Crusader town, built by King Herod. The ancient port, aqueduct, amphitheater, and archaeological ruins all await us. From here, to Haifa we go, to see famous sites such as the Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum. The restored German Colony, founded by the Templars, Stella Maris, and Elijah’s Cave, are also very popular. Then we drive to Acre, the Old City and a world heritage site, as well as to Rosh Hanikra and its spectacular underwater grottoes.
Holy Sites and Historical Monuments: Safed, Tiberias, and Jerusalem
Israel is packed with religious and spiritual sites. There’s so much to see that you really need a professional tour guide to help you explore – and gain deeper insights – into Judaism’s surviving treasures. A top Israel Jewish travel agency will create an all inclusive bar mitzvah tour that takes you to Israel’s most important (and some less well-known) spiritual sites.
Here’s our second phenomenal option. We start from Safed, one of the four holy cities in Israel and the center of the Kabbalah movement. Here, we visit the Caro and Ari synagogues and then enjoy a lovely stroll through the narrow alleyways towards the famous Artists’ quarter. Onwards we go to the Golan, where we enjoy a Jeep tour. We stop at Gadot overlook, the memorial for the fallen of the Golan, and at a magnificent observation point over the city of Kuneitra. We proceed to Tiberias to visit Rambam’s grave, and drive through the Jordan valley to Beit Shean and its fascinating remains from the Roman and Byzantine periods.
Standing at Beit Alpha, we admire the awe-inspiring mosaic floor of an ancient synagogue. Traveling to Jerusalem, we visit the Biblical garden Neot Kedumim, where we plant a tree, and then we proceed to Mount Scopus for a blessing as we enter Jerusalem where many treasures await. We start our visit with the Jewish Quarter and continue to the Old Town, the Western Wall Tunnels, the Roman street Cardo, the Temple Mount, as well as the Israel Museum. We’ll also see the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed. We can see the Bar-Mitzvah ceremonies at the Western Wall – one of the all time best bar mitzvah ideas – and you too can celebrate a Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony at the Wall. How wonderful is that?
Sand and Water: Masada, Dead Sea, Eilat
The last option today, but not the least. How about we take a nice drive through the Judean desert towards the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth. First, we stop at the one-of-a-kind Masada – a fortress on an isolated rock plateau and a World Heritage Site built 2,000 years ago. Amazingly, you can have the ceremony at this symbol of Jewish heroism, between the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert, among archeological remains. This is definitely one of the most exciting and unusual bar mitzvah tours!
We take the cable car down to the Dead Sea, while enjoying spectacular sights, and then we float in this relaxing and healing sea. While here, let’s also visit Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were found, as well as Timna in the Negev, a large geological and archaeological park. Finally, we reach the lovely Eilat, a resort city on the shores of the Red Sea, which guarantees maximum fun and relaxation.
And we’ve reached the end of our list. Yet, this is just the beginning, because you can use our suggestions to imagine and have a tour tailored to your tastes and needs. Whatever you choose to see and whichever site you choose for the ceremony itself, this is bound to be an unforgettable experience.
Plan an All Inclusive Bar Mitzvah Tour
Israel is a wonderful country to visit at any time, but when you explore Israel on an all inclusive bar mitzvah tour, you’ll be blessed with memories that will last a lifetime. A bar or bat mitzvah ceremony at the Wailing Wall, or even in a quiet neighborhood synagogue is a unique and profound experience for a young person.
When you plan bar mitzvah tours in Israel, there are a few things you need to consider. The first is the timing of religious holidays. These change every year according to the lunar calendar, so check before you buy airline tickets. Prices can rise substantially during Pesach and Rosh Hashanah, and religious sites are often crowded. Obviously, you’ll also need to time the trip around school holidays in the US.
If you’re planning an active tour with lots of sightseeing and day trips (and you really should) it’s worth considering the weather. June, July and August can get seriously hot, especially if there is a heat wave. January and February can be cold and wet, particularly in Jerusalem and in hilly areas like Safed. Most of the other months are beautiful, with warm sunny days and pleasant nights.
If you want to invite extended family or friends to join your tour and attend the bar mitzvah ceremony in Israel. Talk to a professional tour company about arranging a group tour with a tailored itinerary. Israel is such an amazing country that it really pays to have professional English speaking guides with detailed local knowledge. You’ll see so much more – and learn so much more – when you travel with the experts!