Guide for Giving out Honors (please see Honors Worksheet on sidebar of blog):

You are welcome to honor friends and family by having them participate in specific parts of the service. All people coming up to the bima are asked to wear a kippah (head covering) and tallit (prayer shawl).  
***Please fill in the Honors sheet in this packet and give (email) to Rabbi Creditor one month prior to the ceremony. (rabbicreditor@gmail.com) ***
a. Open and Close Ark  - two people.  
This is an opportunity to honor a friend or family member who is not Jewish, alongside a friend or family member who is Jewish.  Younger children can also share in this honor.
b. Aliyah (being called to the Torah) – up to 5 aliyot
Up to five aliyot can be given to family and friends. The bar / bat mitzvah student is given the last aliyah – the maftir aliyah.  Aliyot are given to individuals. Only parents and grandparents of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah may receive a joint aliyah.
c. Ba’alei Kriyah (Torah Readers)
This is a delicate honor to share, as it requires serious skill and accountability. The ritual committee will check in with all Torah readers who are new to Netivot Shalom 3 weeks before the date to help them and make sure they are ready. Pre-B’nai Mitzvah age children may read Torah with help and proper preparation.   Please consult Rabbi Creditor for this honor, before offering it to anyone.
d. Hagbah (lifting the Torah) and Gelilah (rolling and dressing the Torah)
Important note: Hagbah requires someone with significant strength to be able to lift the Torah.  Only someone who has previously done Hagbah can have this honor.
e. Ein Keloheinu, Aleinu, and Adon Olam
All of the Amitim class comes up together to lead these prayers. Please help make sure your Amitimnik is in the sanctuary during Musaf to come up and lead.
f. Parent/Teacher Personal Blessing – VERY IMPORTANT
Parents are invited to present a short personal blessing at the end of Musaf lasting no longer than 3 minutes combined. There are a maximum of two of these short talks: one or two parents may speak. These are optional and must be kept brief.  We provide a workshop for parents to prepare for this very powerful, focused, encounter with their child.  Please contact Rabbi Creditor if you have any questions.
g. Kiddush
Following the service, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah family traditionally sponsors a Kiddush.  You may be able to find more ways to honor your family through leading singing, Divrei Torah (interpretations of Torah), etc.  Each Bar/Bat Mitzvah family should have assigned people the honors of
a) reciting the Kiddush,
b) reciting the Motzi, and
c) leading Birkat HaMazon.  

Netivot Congregation Participation:

Members of Congregation Netivot Shalom lead the following parts of our services every Shabbat. You may only offer these honors to CNS members. If you do not assign these honors, we will find members who will fulfill these roles. Please note: Gabba’im are assigned by the shul.
  1. Leading P’sukei D’zimrah
  2. Leading Shacharit
  3. Leading Musaf
Shabbat Greeters
It is a Netivot Shalom tradition for the family of the next upcoming bar/ bat mitzvah to act as greeters. Please mark this date on your calendars and contact the Greeter Coordinator with any questions.  (Rachel in the office will be able to help you with this.)  

  • Greeters should arrive by 9:15am to help those attending the simcha into the sanctuary.
  • Welcome everyone warmly when they arrive, saying “Shabbat Shalom” and hand them the Shabbat Announcements.
  • Please have every adult to wear a kippah, and offer every adult a tallit (non-Jews are invited to wear these as well), accompany them into the hallway in the back of the sanctuary, and show them the (blue) Siddur and (red) Chumash.  We have also created new transliterated siddurim to support those unfamiliar with Hebrew prayer. Please let your guests know about these in advance!
  • If people enter with preschool children or babies, let them know about the childcare activities, as listed in the Shabbat Announcements.

Important Considerations for You and Your Guests:

Traditions of Shabbat: Please make sure your guests are familiar with certain Shabbat practices that Netivot follows.  Gifts should not be brought to Netivot on Shabbat. Cell phones and other electronics should be turned off and put away, not only in the sanctuary but throughout the building throughout Shabbat. No photographs can be taken on Shabbat.  If you would like photographs, please arrange a time with the synagogue to come when it is not Shabbat to take pictures.
Candy/Flower Throwing: Some families choose to include the custom of showering the Bar/Bat Mitzvah with sweetness by throwing candy or flower petals after the Torah reading. Soft candies that are wrapped are the best candy choices; the congregation maintains a supply of kosher soft candies. Families are not to purchase or bring any candies for this ritual.  Please check in with the synagogue office a few weeks before the Bar/Bat Mitzvah if you wish to do this.
Certificate and Gift: At the end of the service, a member of the Board of Directors will present the Bar/Bat Mitzvah with a certificate and a gift from the congregation.  
Tzedakah: One way of celebrating a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is by sharing your joy and gifts with others. Giving tzedakah is the traditional way of sharing.  In addition, each bar / bat mitzvah student will embark on a tzedakah project of their choice to begin after their ceremony.
Some choices are:
  • We encourage you to participate in the MAZON program for providing food to those in need: www.mazon.org  (310) 442-0020.
  • Oakland Potluck will pick up leftover food to distribute to needy families.  Please call ahead (272-0414) to make arrangements for pick-up after Shabbat.
  • Harrison House in our neighborhood also takes food donations.
  • CNS is starting a partnership with JChoice, to facilitate the process for student tzedakah.