A Jewish boy's passage into adulthood is celebrated on his 13th birthday with his Bar Mitzvah. Invited guests are welcomed into the synagogue to witness and participate in this joyous occasion. With guests traveling near and far to attend the Bar Mitzvah, getting invitations in the proper hands sooner rather than later is imperative.
Guests planning to travel more than 150 miles to attend a Bar Mitzvah need adequate notice about the date, time and location. Sending out a Bar Mitzvah invitation between three and four months in advance will allow enough time for out-of-town guests to book airplane tickets, hotel reservations and accommodate taking the time off from work.
An alternative option to sending out the actual Bar Mitzvah invitations three to four months in advance is to borrow the "Save the Date" card idea from weddings. Send out a small card, postcard or email to guests so that they can reserve the date and weekend. The actual invitation can be then sent out two months prior to the Bar Mitzvah.
Family members, friends and community members that live within a 150-mile radius of the Bar Mitzvah location should receive their invitation two months in advance. Two months' notice is adequate to make minor travel accommodations and arrange for necessities such as a babysitter or a day off work. Sending out the Bar Mitzvah invitations two months ahead of time will also allow time for RSVPs to be returned.
Sending out Bar Mitzvah invitations, Bar Mitzvah "Save the Date" cards and RSVPs can result in considerable postage expenses. For congregation members, Bar Mitzvah invitations are not mandatory. In most synagogues, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs will be announced in bulletins, newsletters and on community calendars. Though some congregants will have personal relationships with the Bar Mitzvah and his family that would make a formal invitation appropriate, sending invitations to the Bar Mitzvah to all congregation members is unnecessary.