Becoming a Bar and Bat Mitzvah in the Jewish World:
For 25 years, Da’at Educational Expeditions has arranged amazing Bar and Bat Mitzvah family experiences in Israel, offering the highest professional standards and a personal touch every step of the way. Now we can offer you the opportunity to treat your son or daughter to a coming-of-age adventure of a lifetime in a number of inspiring and powerful Jewish locations, not only in Israel, but in Europe, North Africa and the Indian sub-continent as well. Such a multi-generational journey, combined with the joy of this Jewish rite of passage, will provide you and your family with an unforgettable milestone in your personal family history.
- Barcelona, Spain - Comunitat Jueva Atid de Catalunya. Founded as a Reform community in 1992, Atid reflects the modern rebirth of Jewish Life in Catalonia. By celebrating a Bar or Bat Mitzvah with them, one can provide a link in a chain connected by ties of history and memory.
- Barcelona, Spain - Medieval Synagogue. This is believed to be one of Europe’s oldest synagogues, with remnants from the 3rd and 4th century. It fell into disuse after the massacre of the Jews of Barcelona in 1391, but was re-opened in 2002, and now offers an amazing setting for any Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration.
- Madrid, Spain - Beth Yaacov Synagogue. Partake in the modern renaissance of Spanish Jewry by celebrating a Bar Mitzvah in the Beth Yaacov Synagogue, built in 1968 and now home to the Jewish Cultural Center of Madrid.
- Budapest, Hungary - The Medieval Synagogue. Built in the 14th century and in use for 200 years, the Medieval Synagogue was frequented by the Jews of Buda who were exiled from the town and then allowed to return briefly in the 17th century. The synagogue, which was rediscovered in the 1960s during local excavations, provides a unique opportunity to connect with medieval Jewish history, while appreciating its significance for the Jewish people of today.
- Prague, Czech Republic - The Jubilee Synagogue. The Jubilee Synagogue, located in the Jewish Quarter, is Prague’s largest synagogue. Built at the beginning of the 20th century, its blend of Art Nouveau architecture and Moorish Revival artistic style provides a beautiful setting for a wonderful Bar or Bat Mitzvah family service.
- Delhi, India - Judah Hyam Synagogue. Although there has been a Jewish presence in Delhi for many centuries, it wasn’t until 1956 that a synagogue was opened to provide a community center and prayer hall for the small but well-organized community in the city. The Judah Hyam Synagogue has become the center of Jewish activity in Delhi for diplomats and their families, and visiting Jewish dignitaries. A Bar or Bat Mitzvah here is testament to the fact that Jews are one people no matter where they live.
- Mumbai, India - Magen David Synagogue. Erected in 1864 to serve the growing number of Baghdad Jews fleeing persecution, the synagogue is one of the largest in Asia, outside of Israel. It was restored in 2011 for the celebration of its 150th anniversary. Its distinctive Victorian style was preserved, and the synagogue now provides a unique Bar Mitzvah celebration, combining Eastern and Western modes.
- Florence, Italy – Italian Synagogue. Opened in 1882, this beautiful dome-capped edifice was funded by a Florentine Jew as his legacy to the community, and planned entirely by Jewish architects and artisans. It was saved by the Italian resistance from destruction by the Nazis and later restored. The synagogue provides a singular opportunity to celebrate a Bar Mitzvah in a unique setting that integrates the architectural traditions of both the Italian and Islamic worlds, and stands as a testament to the perseverance of our culture.
- Rome, Italy - The Great Synagogue. While the Great Synagogue of Rome was built only 100 years ago, it represents a Jewish community with 2,000-year-old roots. Holding a Bar Mitzvah ceremony in the heart of this city of cathedrals enables a family to celebrate the event while connecting to a Jewish presence that pre-dates the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
- Siena, Italy - The Synagogue of Siena. The synagogue was located in the old Jewish ghetto to serve a community that has been present in Siena since the 1300s. Built in the late 18th century, it represents one of the region’s few examples of architecture between the Rococo and Neoclassicism. The simple external façade and, in contrast, the elegant, richly decorated interior, are exemplary of synagogues built in Italy in the age of the ghettoes before the Emancipation, and provide a beautiful setting for holding a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration.
- Marrakech, Morocco - Slat El Azama Synagogue. The synagogue was built in 1492 by Jewish refugees of the Spanish Expulsion. A Bar Mitzvah ceremony in one of Morocco’s oldest and most beautiful synagogues offers a family the opportunity to become a bridge between a thriving Jewish past and a striving Jewish present. Located around a large, well-tended central courtyard, this edifice is at the heart of what was once the Mellah, Marrakech’s Old Jewish Quarter.
- Paris, France - Union Liberale Israelite de France (Rue Copernic Synagogue). Founded in 1907, this is the oldest Reform/Liberal synagogue in France. Located in the heart of Paris’ elegant 16th district, it is a dynamic and thriving community with 4,500 individual memberships, including prominent members of all sectors of French society. The congregation has become a home for those seeking a modern approach to Judaism without breaking completely from a more traditional heritage; it offers a wonderful setting for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony.
- Jerusalem - Robinson’s Arch in the Jerusalem Archeological Park. At the foot of the Temple Mount, archaeologists have exposed the shops and broad street thronged by excited Jewish pilgrims 2,000 years ago. It is also the southern extension of the much-revered Western Wall. Today it’s a dedicated site for Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies. Rich in symbolism and history, it is a place where families can come together to celebrate and experience this very Jewish moment in an ancient and especially meaningful setting.
- Nachal Zin. In the Negev Desert, near Kibbutz Sde Boker, the graves of Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and his wife Paula overlook one of the country’s most breathtaking vistas: the Wilderness of Zin. Against this backdrop, the young Bar or Bat Mitzvah can engage with Jewish history and tradition, with the past and the future, and celebrate this important rite of passage, surrounded by the energy of the family and the power of the Desert.
- Jerusalem - Mishkanot Sha’ananim – a viewpoint overlooking the Old City. Built over 150 years ago by Jewish philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore, Mishkenot Sha’ananim became the first neighborhood outside the Old City walls. Its elegant low buildings gave it a special aura of peacefulness, and in the 1980s it became a center for artists and writers. This same serene atmosphere, with the walls of the Old City in the background, affords a unique spot for any Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
- Ein Gedi. The Ein Gedi oasis, with fresh waterfalls tumbling through the parched Judean Desert, is nothing short of miraculous. And its 17-century-old synagogue, witness to the tenacious Jewish presence here, provides a memorable setting for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration.
- Masada. Occupying a 1,000-foot-high plateau overlooking the Dead Sea, Masada was the last Jewish stronghold of the Great Revolt against the Romans. Following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, it became the refuge of almost one thousand Jews, fighters and families alike. In the year 73 CE, 960 inhabitants of Masada took their own lives rather than submit to the Roman conquerors. As an example of Jewish defiance, and with its message of the need for an independent Jewish homeland, Masada has become a symbol for the modern State of Israel. It is a meaningful site for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, offering a connection to our past as well as our Jewish future.
- Mitzpeh Ramon. Few venues are more powerful than that of the Ramon Crater, with its myriad colors and shapes, proving yet again that Nature itself is the world’s ultimate artist. These were the routes of the ancient Israelites, and a Bar or Bat Mitzvah here is an expression of a continuing commitment to the Land of Israel.