My son is turning thirteen in January of next year. My daughter will become twelve two months later. We would like to have a joint celebration for their bar and bat mitzvah. Can either my son’s bar mitzvah be delayed, or can my daughter’s bat mitzvah be celebrated earlier?


Mazel tov to your family! The day of a person’s Jewish 12th or 13th birthday is very significant and should be marked appropriately. This, however, does not mean that a lavish event must be scheduled for that day.

A girl can mark her bat mitzvah on her Jewish birthday in the following way: as bat mitzvah is the moment when a Jewish girl becomes a woman, you and your daughter may want to focus on the mitzvot which are particularly pertinent to women, such as lighting Shabbat candles, and challah. Click here for some inspirational articles on these subjects.

A boy celebrates his bar mitzvah by going to the synagogue on his Jewish 13th birthday, donning tefillin, and being called up to the Torah—if it is a day when the Torah is read. Otherwise, he is called up on the first “Torah-reading day” that follows his birthday. Click here for more information on the mitzvah of tefillin.

The above should all be done on their Jewish birthdays, accompanied by at least a small, modest celebration. The grand celebrations can be scheduled for another date, ideally following the bar or bat mitzvah. Thus, if you are interested in having a joint celebration, preferably it should wait until your daughter’s bat mitzvah.

Best wishes,

Chani Benjaminson

P.S. Use our Jewish/Civil Date Converter to find out your children’s exact Jewish birthdays.