Robinson’s Arch Bar Mitzvah: Planning Guide for 2019

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Robinson’s Arch Bar Mitzvah: Planning Guide for 2019

Celebrating your robinson’s arch bar mitzvah is a magical experience both for the boy, the family and all the guests. Having the ceremony at the Western Wall, surrounded by The Old City of Jerusalem is one of the most unique moments in Jewish life. 

The Davidson Center in Jerusalem is home to the “Ezrat Yisrael” making it possible to hold egalitarian prayer services and Bar Mitzvah ceremonies with the entire family.

Family celebrating their Bar Mitzvah.

Here is a complete guide to help you plan the perfect event:

  • Preparing the bar mitzvah boy’s Parsha (Torah portion)
  • Robinson’s Arch Bar Mitzvah Online Reservation Form
  • About Robinson’s Arch
  • Finding a Rabbi
  • Torah Scroll Access
  • Photography and Videography
  • Musicians and Chuppah Dancing
  • Lunch Reservations
  • Bar Mitzvah Day Tours
  • Transportation Arrangements

 

Preparing the Bar Mitzvah’s Parsha (Torah portion)

Once you set the date for your robinson’s arch bar mitzvah, you can find out which Parasha (Torah portion) you need to learn.

  • Use this calculator to check which portion corresponds to the date you choose.

If you can’t read hebrew, learn quickly with this free course. If you practice reading Hebrew at 5-10 minutes every day, you should be able to read comfortably within the first month of learning.

Memorize the trope for your Parsha

You can read as much or as little as you want during your ceremony. Plan ahead with your Rabbi. If your bar mitzvah is during a weekday, you only need to learn the Torah trope for the first 3 Aliyot (shorter weekday Torah portions). You can find recordings of the Torah tropes using the links below:

  • Use Chabad’s resource to learn Ashkenazi Torah trope.
  • Learn to read with Sefardi or Moroccan Torah trope here.

 

Robinson’s Arch Bar Mitzvah Online Reservation Form

reservation cta with family in background

Ready to schedule your event? If you already have a date for your event but you’re not sure how to schedule all the other details for the ceremony, check out Kotel TV’s easy registration form where you can reserve the prayer space, torah scroll, rabbi and photography all at once.

If you already know your rabbi, photographer and schedule and you only want to reserve your prayer space, you can do so through Masorti’s prayer reservation form.

About Robinson’s Arch at The Davidson Center

Location and Timing

The Robinson’s Arch is located next to the Western Wall Plaza and is itself the southern end of the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

  • If you’re having your Bar Mitzvah during the summer, we recommend scheduling your event early morning (before 9am) or late afternoon (after 5pm), otherwise the area gets quite hot.

Bar Mitzvah reading from the Torah.

Bar Mitzvah reading from the Torah.

Special Restrictions

* Dancing may not take place at the site.
* The playing of recorded music or musical instruments (such as a shofar, drums, etc.) is prohibited within the site.
* There is no parking available at the site.
* It is strictly forbidden to bring food into the site.
* It is strictly forbidden to bring candies into the site.  Please note:  The throwing of candies on the bar/bat mitzvah is strictly prohibited within the site.

Opening Hours

Sunday-Thursday: 8am – 5pm
Friday and Holiday Eves: 8 am – 2 pm
Evening and nighttime entrance is possible with advanced arrangement.

Finding a Rabbi

Rabbi leading a Bar Mitzvah at The Robinsons Arch
Rabbi leading a Bar Mitzvah at The Robinsons Arch

Your Bar Mitzvah ceremony cannot be complete without a Rabbi. There can be many decisions to make that go along with hiring a Rabbi for your Bar Mitzvah such as level of observance, involvement in the ceremony, and compatibility.

Once you register your event, the robinsons arch will match you with a rabbi.

Tallit and Tefillin

You can either borrow these crucial items from the Rabbi or purchase them online from Weaving Creations.

Securing Torah Scroll Access

Your Rabbi will confirm the Torah scroll access upon reservation of your ceremony. Further arrangements can be discussed directly with your Rabbi.

 

Photography and Videography

bar mitzvah photographer at the robinson's arch

 

The best way to capture your event is with our family photographer from Jerusalem. Check out Kotel TV’s easy photography form where you can reserve the prayer space, torah scroll, rabbi and photography all at once.

 

Musicians and Chuppah Celebration

The perfect way to start the ceremony is to celebrate from outside the walls of the old city accompanied by musicians and a chuppa. This part of the ceremony usually lasts about 15 minutes and it costs between 400-600 nis.

Jerusalem Bar Mitzvah musicians celebrate.
Jerusalem Bar Mitzvah musicians celebrate.

Currently, chuppa musicians do not have a website for reservations. The best way to make sure they will be at your event is to make sure that someone (your bar mitzvah planner, tour guide, family member or friend) contacts them in person and reserves your spot.

Alternatively, you can arrive to the Dung Gate and hire them on the spot on the day of the event. Usually stationed just outside the Dung Gate under a big tree, it is common for people to hire them without a prior reservation.

 

Lunch Reservations

What Jewish celebration would be complete without food?

There are many good restaurants in Jerusalem and it would be impossible to list them all. So here is a handpicked list of the most popular ones sorted by ease of getting to them from the Robinson’s Arch. If you already reserved your event, we recommend re-confirming your lunch reservations a few days before your event in case they forgot to write it down and weren’t expecting you.

Between the Arches (Kotel Plaza, Old City Jerusalem)

Located steps from the Kotel Plaza, this is the closest and the most accessible restaurant for your guests. If you don’t mind sacrificing menu and underground seating for the convenience of arriving easily from the ceremony, then this is your best choice.

Between the Arches restaurant
Between the Arches restaurant.

Accessibility:

Easy. Only steps away from the Western Wall Plaza.

Type of Menu:

Dairy. See full menu here.

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Thursday: 9am – 6pm
Friday and Saturday: Closed

Contact Info:

Phone: +972-53-941-9157
Address: Hagai 174, Jerusalem. Open in Google Maps.

Holy Cafe (Jewish Quarter, Old City Jerusalem)

Located at the Jewish Quarter plaza, Holy Cafe is about a 15 minute walk upstairs from the Western Wall. The menu is similar to the previous restaurant however the seating is outdoors, spacious and with beautiful view of the Hurva Synagogue and the Rova Square.

Holy Cafe
Holy Cafe

Accessibility:

Moderate. You need to go up about 6 stories worth of steps in order to get to the Rova Square from the Western Wall. The municipality is currently building a new elevator which is expected to be operational by January 2022.

Type of Menu:

Dairy. Contact them for menu options.

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Thursday: 9am – 6pm
Friday: 9am – 2pm
Saturday: Closed

Contact Info:

Phone: +972-50-352-5400
Address: Tiferet Israel, Jerusalem. Open in Google Maps.

Andalucia (Kikar HaMusica, Town Center Jerusalem)

If you want to celebrate in a unique and beautiful atmosphere, and you like Moroccan and Spanish food, then this is the place for you. It is located inside the Kikar HaMusica courtyard, you will need to hop on a cab from the western wall and go to the center of town (about 20 minutes travel time with traffic).

Andalucia Restaurant Table.
Andalucia Restaurant Table.

Accessibility:

Transportation required (about 20 minutes travel time with traffic).

Type of Menu:

Meat. See full menu here.

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Thursday: 9am – 6pm
Friday and Saturday: Closed

Contact Info:

Phone: +972-53-941-9157
Address: Hagai 174, Jerusalem. Open in Google Maps.

 

Activities For After Event

Extend your day at the park and enjoy a wide variety of attractions that are low cost and a close distance from each other.

Archeological Park at Davidson’s Center Tour

Archeological Park at Davidson’s Center
Walking around Archeological Park at Davidson’s Center.

Within walking distance from the Robinson’s Arch you can enjoy visiting one of Jerusalem’s recently uncovered archeological attractions.

Park Entrance Fees

Adult – 30 NIS
Adult in a group (25+ people):  21 NIS
Child, student, soldier, senior citizen –     16 NIS
Fees for Guided Tours (limited to maximum 35 people per group):
1 Hour guided tour of the Davidson Center or the Jerusalem Archaeological Park: 160 NIS.
1.5 Hr guided tour of the site, including both the Davidson Center and the Jerusalem Archaeological Park: 250 NIS

Quill of the Heart Writing at the Western Wall Tunnels

Bar Mitzvah boy writing on parchment
Bar Mitzvah boy writing on parchment.

This ceremony introduces the Bar Mitzvah boy to the world of Torah parchment writing by allowing him to write holy hebrew letters with the quill and ink used by traditional scribes. This activity lasts about an hour and includes a tour of the western wall tunnels. The entrance to the tunnels is located near the northern entrance to the western wall plaza.

Cost of quill of the heart event: 650 NIS. Limited to a maximum of 50 people per group.

Tunnel Tour Entrance Fees

Adult – 35 NIS
Child, student, soldier, senior citizen –     19 NIS

Virtual Reality Look Into The Past

Tourist wearing VR goggles
Tourist wearing VR goggles.

You can take a tour of the Second Temple using VR (virtual-reality). This immersive experience lets you see the impressive Herod’s Temple from 2,000 years ago.

Virtual Reality Tour Fees

Adult – 30 NIS
Child, student, soldier, senior citizen –     15 NIS
Limited to maximum 35 people per group.

Transportation Info

Getting to the Robinson’s Arch can be complicated if you do not plan ahead.

Private Car

Prepare to park at the Mamilla Mall located near Jaffo Gate and to walk from there to the Kotel (about a 15 min walk).

Taxi

This is by far the easiest way to get to and from the Kotel. It saves you from all the hassle of having to find parking far away and then having to walk to and from (and it’s uphill on the way back!).

Bus

Another popular option is to take a bus from the center of town (number 1 line).

Train

If you are staying by a hotel or vacation apartment that is near one of the light rail stops then you can take the train up to the city hall station. From there you can walk to Jaffo Gate and then to the Western Wall.

Conclusion

As you saw, this bar mitzvah planning guide is very useful and easy to use.

But before you get started planning, let’s hear from you.

What did you think about this post?

Or do you have a question about something you saw?

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