Seven facts about bar and bat mitzvah:
- A Jewish man is bar mitzvah when he passes his 13th birthday, whether he has a ceremony or not.
- A Jewish woman is bat mitzvah at 12 years, 6 months, or at 13, depending on the custom of her community.
- The plural of bar mitzvah is bney mitzvah.
- Jews of this age are responsible to know right from wrong, and to be responsible for their duties as a Jew.
- The customs surrounding bnei mitzvah celebrations differ from community to community.
- Preparation and study for a bar mitzvah begin years ahead of the actual date.
- Some adults who did not have the opportunity to celebrate their bnei mitzvah as 13-year-olds study for a similar celebration later: these are commonly called adult bnei mitzvah.
Some resources if you have more questions about this tradition:
- If you have been invited to a bar mitzvah and are not sure what to expect, read Bar and Bat Mitzvah Etiquette for Beginners and More Etiquette for Bar & Bat Mitzvah Guests.
- If your child expresses an interest in a bar or bat mitzvah and you are feeling bewildered, read My Child Wants a Bar or Bat Mitzvah – Now What?
- For information about interesting new trends in the tradition, read URJ Overhauling the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.