Do have any sense of the protocol for inviting clergy to my son’s Bar Mitzvah? Do you have to invite all the clergy or just the ones that officiate? Or does it just depend on how well you know them and how well they know your child?
– Clueless Mitzvah Mom
Great question, CMM! At a minimum, it’s a nice idea to invite the clergy who are officiating your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah to the celebration. However, unless you have a close, personal relationship, one of the parents serves on the Temple’s board or is a particularly large donor to the Temple, it is unlikely that they will attend your celebration.
Don’t take it personally though! If the rabbi or cantor attended every Bar or Bat Mitzvah at a large congregation, they would never see their own families on the weekend! Not to mention, what would they do for a weekend when they are scheduled for double ceremonies?
Please note that there are a few caveats. If your party or a kiddush luncheon is immediately following the service in the synagogue, the rabbi or cantor may stop by for a little while, but probably won’t stay for the entire event. If you belong to a very small temple where only a handful of tweens become Bar or Bat Mitzvah each year, the tradition may be different and the clergy may be more likely to attend.