There is no denying the Bar Mitzvah ritual has changed over the years. While the reading of the scrolls and the Temple part is still very much the same, the party afterwards has evolved. That is not to say it is bad, but when you live in a community where it is seen as a party every weekend you may begin to wonder if it is really where you want to spend your money and is this transition to manhood you seek for your child. An excellent alternative is to throw a Bar Mitzvah in Israel. While this might seem far fetched, the idea is catching fire in many places.
While you will likely have a much smaller group, you will be able to have a truly Jewish experience. For many young men this is their first trip to the sacred land and the Bar Mitzvah takes on an even deeper meaning. You can plan tours before and after the celebration. You can bring with you as many or as few people as you like. Most of all you can make sure the celebration is one of tradition and meaning rather than just a DJ with a bunch of pre-teens dancing the night away.
There are a number of services online that can help you plan the ceremony and the party location. As this has grown in popularity there are many businesses popping up to service those who are looking to put on such a celebration. The Israel Ministry of Tourism can help point you in the right direction and make your Bar Mitzvah in Israel plan to be a bit easier.
You should check with the child to see what they want as well, but selling them on a once in a lifetime trip shouldn’t be too difficult. The one piece of advice many parents give is to let the child bring at least one of their closest friends. As much as family is important, it helps to have a teenager experience something like this with their peers, it tends to make the whole journey a little more “real.”