If you are appointed to present the Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift on behalf of the congregation, please be prepared to give your presentation according to these suggested guidelines. There’s enough flexibility and plenty of room for your personal comments, anecdotes, etc. If you want to know more about the individual, the family, or if you need help of any sort, feel free to contact the Cantor or a member of the Board of Directors. They are here to help you.
Memorize your opening line (always the hardest part for some). Some examples:
- “I am honored to present a gift to you from the congregation, the Men’s Club, and Sisterhood.”
- “On behalf of the Men’s Club, Sisterhood, and the congregation, I’m honored to present you with a special gift.”
- “The Men’s Club, Sisterhood, and the congregation have honored me to present you with a special gift.”
Say something about the organizations (sponsoring the gift)
“As you may know, the Men’s Club and Sisterhood work both independently and in collaboration with the congregation to foster a vibrant Jewish community. The Men’s Club and Sisterhood are an integral part of the larger congregation and provide help and support for congregational activities. For example, the Men’s Club sends the annual Yom HaShoah candles, helps construct the sukkah and supports the Purim Carnival. Sisterhood works to support and enhance the Jewish community by providing opportunities for leadership, running a gift shop, providing interesting speakers and programs, and by providing financial support both at B’nai Tikvah and in the community. All of these programs and resources help support the broader community that comprises our congregation.”
Say something about the gift (Show it. Don’t just flash it)
This “Illustrated Torah” is an original humash combining the captivating artwork of Michal (pr. MeeCHAIL) Meron, an Israeli artist, and the clear translation by the Jewish Publication Society. It’s produced through an arrangement with The Studio in Old Jaffa, a gallery renowned for its collection of mystical art and illustrated literature. Meron worked over four years creating her striking full-color paintings that were originally released as limited edition prints. What identifies her work in particular, are the bold colors she uses and the important part that Hebrew texts and lettering play in her pictures.
Say something about their Jewish role in the community
“We know that Judaism is important to you, that came across clearly today. It is our hope that in the future…
- girls: you will be an active member in Sisterhood and continue to provide leadership to other Jewish women.”
- boys: you will find ways throughout your life to be involved in your congregation and its Men’s Club.”
Tie it up
“I hope that you will use this gift as you continue to learn and grow as a Jewish adult and become an active member of this congregation.”
Keep in mind that:
- the child is often too zoned out to actually hear what you have to say
- the congregation has heard it all before and is just waiting for Aleinu, and
- only the family is actually listening (maybe). The most important thing you can do is to just be yourself.