Bat Bitzvah #1: Listing Therapy



It happens to the best of families:

A baby girl is born, grows up lovely and beautiful,

Is blessed with health and happiness as one could only wish.

Time passes, we celebrate her first birthday, second, third…ten, eleven

And without our noticing, suddenly it’s time to start planning a Bat Mitzvah.

{ Where did the time go? }

When did she have time to grow up so fast?

{ Thank goodness for pictures}


So where does one start?

Okay, first thing first, take a deep breath; it’s all going to turn out alright in the end, really.

I started off by buying a notebook.


I sectioned it off by putting in bookmarks made out of folded stickers.


I put everything into that notebook; ideas, addresses, phone numbers, names-absolutely everything went into that notebook.

That notebook and I were to spend the following year together with seldom a moment apart, accompanied of course, by my favorite pen.


As this blog post is written, we’ve already celebrated the Bat Mitzvah, putting us in the reflective stage.

It was beautiful. It was wonderful. And it was well planned.

So How Do You Prepare A Bat Mitzvah?

Here’s what we did:

First of all we asked ourselves a few questions: Who? What? Where? When? How? And other important questions, some of which had clear answers from the start, and some which we figured out along the way.

(This is only the way we chose to do it; everyone can take it whichever way they would like and can, and finds meaningful)

Part One: When

Open up calendars, compare schedules. Mark off holidays, business trips, and birthdays.  We chose to celebrate right after Succot, because  there would no longer be a need for a succah, and the weather would be in that perfect medium of not too hot and not too cold.

Part Two: Where

Every family has its own considerations,

For us it was important to celebrate in Jerusalem: since it’s close to many of our guests, and also because Jerusalem is Jerusalem, need we say more?


In addition to Jerusalem, we had a few other important considerations:

-That the food would be dairy

-That the auditorium would be gorgeous in it of itself, so that we wouldn’t need to put in a lot of time and effort into decorating the location.

-And since we were organizing the event from a distance of thousands of miles, that there would be one person who could help us with all the details: food, tables, napkins, and all the rest of the many tiny factors that go into creating an event.

Thank goodness we already knew Tal (and now Mazal) and the wonderful staff at the Terasa restaurant located at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, which made the whole process easy and calm (well relatively, considering we were planning a Bat Mitzvah after all)

We already knew Tal from our eldest daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, which we celebrated in the same location six years previously.  It had been such a success that we knew we wanted to return, and return we did.

The date we wanted was available (never something to be taken for granted) –


With the key basics taken care of we could start getting ready from the other side of the planet.

Bat Mitzvah Project

We wanted to add a meaningful aspect to the Bat Mitzvah, there are so many ways to do so, but we chose to take the artistic route.

Since the Bat Mitzvah girl always has one hundred and one brilliant ideas – not to mention golden hands, we thought that her Bat Mitzvah donation could be a monumental art project, which she could give to a hospital in hopes that it would cheer up the children who had to spend time there.

This involved many phone calls, emails, sketches, searches, finds, colors, ideas, and endless hours that one wonderful girl poured her heart into.

There is so much to say about the project…that it received its own blog post.



For whoever doesn’t already know: I have to warn you; when it comes to invitations, I tend to go a liiiiittle bit overboard, I like to bring the WOW factor. It certainly is ridiculous, but I’ve already set standards for myself, and I cannot fail to meet them now can I?

So they tell me anyway.

So where do you begin?

Every invitation has two parts: its appearance and its content.

For the content it is important to get across the important facts, so the guests can arrive at the right place at the right time: so; date, location, time, and such.

Not to mention you’ll want nice clear font with plenty of space and big enough to read (excuse me, the trained graphic designer is coming out).

You can be formal or infuse humor, whatever fits your style.


And Appearance? There are just so many options!!! It’s hard to know what to pick, but it’s also a matter of budget, style, personal preference, and also a matter of time.

Selecting Text: For us this happened to be the easiest part; we were happy with the format we had used for our older girls’ Bat Mitzvot, so we simply had to change the dates and the name- add a personalized passage and we were off to the next step.

Selecting Colors: Since Attar had recently helped me design, cut and fold two different sets of invitations as gifts to cousins (from separate sides) in shades of purple, she couldn’t really look at any more  lilac and lavender cardstock paper.

Completely understandable.

We decided on turquoise.

Never mind, gold.

Never mind, black.

Actually forget that, all of them!

First of all I designed a logo featuring Attar’s name, which would adorn all the designs and decorations of the Bat Mitzvah.

I used letters from the font “Cursiva” and added a little pomegranate on some letters as a personal touch.


We wanted something circular, so that we could add the motif of the circle and crown – only fitting for a girl named Attar – a name derived from the Hebrew word for crown,

I designed the invitations as pop-up cards to add the WOW element.


(Because no invitation of mine can be opened without one or two surprises)

 I constructed a factory line;


We cut-sliced-printed-glued-assembled-checked-and learnt a lot about trial and error:


And after three or four sleepless nights we got this:

finish invi front

finish invi diagno finish invi side

Now that the invitations were ready, we had time to actually think about the plans for what would actually happen at the celebration when our guests actually came…

To be continued.


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About shikmabenmelech

Hi! I'm Shikma. a mother, a wife, a designer. I have a huge collection of papers, beads, glues, fabrics, yarn and more, that any moment is about become something new.
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3 Responses to Bat Bitzvah #1: Listing Therapy

  1. Pingback: בת מצווה: האורחים באים {חלק שני} | דבק+נייר+מספריים

  2. Pingback: בת מצוה: שולחן עורך { חלק שלישי } | דבק+נייר+מספריים

  3. Pingback: אלוהים נמצא בפרטים הקטנים | דבק+נייר+מספריים

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