Bat Mitzvah at the Kotel

A bat mitzvah at the Kotel is the perfect way to celebrate your daughter’s transition into Jewish adulthood with one of Israel’s most significant and emblematic locations as the backdrop. A Jerusalem bat mitzvah is the perfect occasion to bring together family and friends – and a great time to dedicate part of the day to a family bat mitzvah photo session in Israel.

Although the Kotel is Israel’s preferred location for b’nei mitzvah celebrations, it is important to keep in mind a few things that the bat mitzvah and her family will want to remember when planning a bat mitzvah in Israel.

First, owing to the fact that Israel’s Orthodox Rabbinate maintains control over the country’s holy places, women are prohibited from reading Torah at the Kotel. This is a frustrating and sometimes surprising fact for visitors to Israel, and due to the nature of these restrictions some families opt for alternative near-by locations that are not subject to this same restriction. A popular option for bat mitzvah celebrants include Robinson’s Arch, located just around the corner from the Western Wall itself. To see an example of a bat mitzvah held at Robinson’s arch (“Ezrat Israel”), please click here.

Whether you choose to hold your bat mitzvah at the Kotel or in the vicinity, it is important to remember that this entire area constitutes a public place. Therefore, while your bar mitzvah will in one of Israel’s most significant holy places, it will not be entirely private.

While Israel boasts excellent weather most of the year, remember that the Kotel (and the some of the alternative locations including Robinson’s Arch (“Ezrat Israel”)) are outside and largely unsheltered, making this local subject to Israel’s very hot summers. Winter in Israel usually demands little more than a jacket.  Refuge from the summer heat is not far away, with a wide variety of venues located in the immediate neighborhood of the Kotel that make it easy to transition directly from the Torah portion to a more comfortable celebration inside.