Bar/Bat Mitzvah Honors Checklist - Sample

Sample Bar/Bat Mitzvah Checklist
This is an annotated sample of the form that bar/bat mitzvah families create, together with Rabbi Scheinberg, to keep track of honors during the bar/bat mitzvah service.  We usually create this as a Google Doc shared by the parents and the rabbi. 

Basic information:
Name of child:  Hannah Heiden
Hebrew name:  Chana Malka bat Avraham ve-Reevka
 Birthdate: 4/20/96
 Names of parents:  Andrew Heiden / Rebecca Teichman

Honors in the service:
Ein Kamocha – Julia Heiden (cousin) 
We have often had younger siblings or other younger relatives lead parts of the service – Ein Kamocha (at the beginning of the Torah service) is a good choice for this because it’s just one solo line.  Text/Audio can be found at together with the rest of the text/audio of the Shabbat morning service.

 Open ark, taking out the Torah (1 or 2 people)  Pheobe Crego & Maddy Cohen  

Aliyot (supply English and Hebrew names; Hebrew names include the Hebrew names of parents)
Some of the honors in the service are specifically for Jews, and others are appropriate for Jews or non-Jews.  Rabbi Scheinberg’s strong suggestion is for you to make a list of all the people you want to honor, and then we’ll find the right honor for every person (rather than trying to find the right person for every honor).
On a regular Shabbat morning, there are a total of eight Aliyot (torah honors that involve the recitation of Torah blessings before and after the torah readings).  When there is a bar/bat mitzvah, one of these (#8, also called “Maftir”) is assigned for the bar/bat mitzvah child.    Sometimes (as is the case below), we can add additional aliyot to accommodate more honors or more torah readers.
Torah blessings text/audio can be found on
Parents/family who can read Hebrew are especially invited to learn to chant a brief section of the torah reading if they wish.  It takes a significant amount of preparation but it is a wonderful idea (and also highlights for the students that Jewish study is not just for kids but also for adults).  Speak with Rabbi Scheinberg for more info.

Note below that for all the aliyot, the family has supplied the person’s Hebrew name and Hebrew name of his/her parents.

Our typical practice is to give aliyah #1 to a Kohen, and aliyah #2 to a Levi – and to have aliyot be individual honors, making an exception for married couples who are invited to come up together if necessary.  Every so often other exceptions may be necessary.

Kohen Aliyah:
Robert Scheinberg
 Ha-rav reuven yaakov ben chanoch ha-kohen viyehudit
(torah reader –rabbi

Levi Aliyah:  Congregation

 (torah reader – Joel Freiser )

3rd Aliyah: Cory Heiden (uncle)

Akiva ben Hanuch vi Adel

(torah reader –  Rabbi  (note:  aliyah is elongated, constituting the 3rd and 4th aliyot)

4th Aliyah:  Arlene Heiden / Barbara Goldsmith  (grandmother & great-aunt)

Adel bat Hershel

Brucha Pesa bat Hershel

 (torah reader Andrew Heiden (chumash – aliyah #5)

5th Aliyah: Sarie Teichman/ Alan Feltman (aunt & uncle)

Sara Chava bat Menachem Mendel vi Zechava  

Asher ben Velvel

(torah reader – Sharon Leder [grandmother], chumash – first half of aliyah #6, til v. 38)

6th AliyahJessica Li (sister)

Yehudite bat Reevka vi Avraham

(torah reader Milton Teichman [grandfather];  chumash – 2nd half of aliyah #6, from v. 29 to 44)

7th Aliyah: Rebecca Teichman (mother)

Reevka bat Menachem Mendel vi Zehava

(torah reader – Joel; 1st half of aliyah #7:  24:1-12)

8th (Hosafah) Aliyah:  Andrew Heiden (father)

Avraham ben Hanuch

 (torah reader  Hannah Heiden, 24:13-23)

Maftir Aliyah:  Hannah Heiden

Ta’amod ha-bachurah ha-bat mitzvah,

Chana Malka bat Avraham vi Reevka

(torah reader Hannah Heiden)

Hagbah (lifting the Torah; must be someone with experience) and Gelilah (tying the Torah)  David Kalmus and Abbie Jacobs (friends)

Yehallelu – Abby Heiden (cousin)
This is another section that is especially appropriate for younger siblings.  Sometimes younger siblings have led (or shared in leading) Ashrei.

Open ark, returning the Torah (1 or 2 people) Pheobe Crego and Maddy Cohen (friends)

Leading service:  Joe Israel – Pesukei Dezimra; Rafi Lehmann-Shaharit, Hannah Heiden: Torah service and Musaf

Prayer for Peace:  Fran Davis (friend)
Prayer for our country:
Prayer for Israel:  
 The 3 prayers above are recited in English and are appropriate for Jews or non-Jews.  It is also possible to add additional readings in English at this point in the service if requested.  See
for copies of these prayers.


Name                                       Relationship                                        from where?

Parents: Andrew/Rebecca
Sister: Jessi
Grandparents:  Milton/Sharon, Arlene
Aunts/Uncles: Sarie/Alan, Cory/Becky
Great Aunts/Great Uncles: Barbara, Barbara, Paul
Cousins: Julia, Abby
The many cousins and other relatives and friends, from all over the country

 Will candy be distributed?  Yes    Please see the ‘simcha form’ for more info on candy-throwing!
Will parents speak to Bar/Bat Mitzvah during service?  Yes    Three suggestions:  (a) brief is better; (b) avoid embarrassing birth stories; (c) stay future-oriented.  Rather than extolling your child’s talents and virtues, express something about why you are having this celebration, why you have prioritized their Jewish identity / education, and what are some of your dreams and hopes for their Jewish future.

Names of loved ones who have died, to be mentioned before Mourner’s Kaddish:
 Name                                       Relationship
Gilda Simon  Grandmother
Henry Eli Heiden, grandfather

Bar/Bat Mitzvah families are asked to supply 4 ushers to assist with distributing prayer books etc.  Parents of 7th grade classmates are often willing to play this role for each other.  (for usher instructions, see

The Learning Center also assigns 6th grade parents to serve as greeters downstairs.

Some other notes:

(a) Services start at 9:30am….. but 10am is probably the best time to put on the invitations.  Torah service will begin shortly after 10am.  Service should conclude by 12:30pm.
(b) our Kiddush / kashrut policies are all on the “Simcha form,” which you can fill out at .   Please look over this info; Ruthy Tyroler, our events coordinator, will answer any questions you have.  The form should be submitted to Ruthy by a few weeks before the event.
(c )  A great place to start looking for mitzvah project ideas is

Mazal Tov to your family on this special moment!


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