One of the biggest barriers for non-Jewish guests at Jewish life cycle ceremonies is understanding what’s going on. A great way to educate your non-Jewish relatives and friends is offering a simple supplement that explains the rituals and other aspects of the bar mitzvah.
Some essentials to include in the supplement include:
An etiquette guide to attending synagogue (i.e. rules on wearing a yarmulke, how to treat a prayer book, when to stand, what to do about cellphones, etc.). Like Jews visiting a church, many non-Jews do not know the proper etiquette for visiting a synagogue. (See Sample Etiquette Guide for Guests.)
A guide to the service, giving a chronology and explanation of prayers and rituals. Many congregations jump around in the prayer book and switch between English and Hebrew; a guide to the service can help guests follow along to whatever level they’re comfortable. (See Sample Guide to Service.)
18Doors is here to support interfaith couples and families exploring Jewish life. We offer educational content; connections to welcoming organizations, professionals and programs; resources and trainings for organizations, clergy and other program providers; and our Rukin Rabbinic Fellowship provides offerings for couples in cities nationwide. If you have questions, please contact email@example.com.