We have always loved sharing our family lifecycle events with those who are both familiar and unfamiliar with our Jewish customs and traditions.  For those looking for a little deeper explanation of what is going on during the service and the meaning of the event in general, these documents might be helpful.

The above image is a photograph of Holden's gorgeous tallit (prayer shawl) woven by Catherine Alter of Sylvan Studio with colors selected by Holden.  The Hebrew words on the atarah (collar) come from Holden's Torah Portion and say "v'ahavtem et-hageir" which translates to "befriend strangers"--a message that could not come at a better time in our world.  



This personalized PDF follows Holden's bar mitzvah service and contains some additional information about Holden's work at becoming a bar mitzvah.  You may download and print it to follow along during the service.  The download button below should be active by July 17 when the PDF is sent out in advance of his service.


Please note that Holden was originally scheduled to become a bar mitzvah on August 8, 2020; however, due to calendar shifts in the wake of the pandemic, Holden's bar mitzvah was recently moved up a week.  Holden has maintained his originally assigned Torah portion (Parashah Eikev) for the week of August 8th.  Thus, Holden will be sharing his chanting of Torah and D'var Torah teachings about the readings which would normally occur the following Shabbat. Thank you for your understanding these unusual and unprecedented times and the accommodations made.



This document was compiled for an in-person observance at Temple Beth Shalom in Austin, TX.  We have cut out most of the FAQs from this document which pertain to service decorum and in-person traditions which may not be experienced in the virtual format.  Some changes are to be expected as our planning develops in these uncertain times.


This document (compiled by friends and adapted by our family for use at a traditional b'nai mitzvah ceremony at Temple Beth Shalom in Austin, TX) contains some helpful explanations of the meaning of this event as well as explanations of the components of the worship service.  Some of these elements may be adapted or omitted due to the virtual observance format at this time.