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The Bar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah

The Bar-Mitzvah for boys and the Bat-Mitzvah for girls represent the public celebration of the coming of age. These terms mean: “son/daughter of the commandment” and refer to both the ceremony and the person performing it. It is usually celebrated at the age of 13 for boys and 12 for girls. The Bnai Mitzvah (plural form) ceremony consists of the reading of a passage from the Torah. In Orthodox Jewish circles, this reading is done only by boys, the ceremony for girls being much less elaborate. Afterwards, the father or parents of the new adult recite a blessing. After the ceremony, the family usually holds a reception or party at which the Bar/Bat Mitzvah receives gifts.