08. Honours

A Bar/Bat/B’nei Mitzvah is an important event in the life of your family, and it takes place as part of our regular prayer services. As such, we seek to strike a balance between honouring family and friends, and recognizing others who may be observing a special event such as a yahrzeit or a B’nei Mitzvah anniversary. On a Shabbat morning, your family will have the opportunity to assign about 75% of the honours in the service.

Distributing Service Honours

The “B’nei Mitzvah Honours Coordinator” will reach out to you to help you assign the honours. You are responsible for informing your guests as to their respective honours. Some honours are reserved for Jews over the age of thirteen, while others may be open to Jewish children as well. Torah honours may only be given to Jewish persons over the age of B’nei mitzvah who are capable of reading the Hebrew blessings.

There are honours that may be assigned to non-Jewish family or friends, notably reading the Prayer for Canada and the Prayer for Peace. The Honours Coordinator can also assist you in finding opportunities for non-Jewish family or friends to participate.

The order of the Aliyot will be determined according to Halachic rules which will be explained by the Honours Coordinator.

Any honour not designated will be assigned to a congregant by the Gabbai; do not feel obligated to fill all honours which have been made available to you.

If you are assigning honours to relatives/friends who are not familiar with a Conservative service, please let the B’nei Mitzvah Honours Coordinator know so that we can make sure that they are ready to participate.

Parents’ Prayer

Parents will recite a prayer for their child, which includes the Blessing of Independence. It can be customized to fit your family’s specific dynamic. Should the parents wish to share an entirely different prayer, it must be discussed with the Senior Rabbi and approved 2 weeks in advance of the simchah.  

Candy

It is customary to lightly shower the B’nei Mitzvah with candies  when they have completed reading the Haftarah (or Torah portion at an alternative service time). This is a wonderful celebratory moment. The synagogue will provide baskets of individually wrapped, soft, kosher candy. Customized baskets may be provided by the family.