Bar/Bat Mitzvah Event Planning at Temple Emanu-El



Our security guards inspect all bags as people enter our sanctuaries. This is for the protection of all our members and guests.

There are no backpacks or suitcases allowed in the sanctuaries. People will be asked to leave large bags outside the sanctuary.

The New York Police Department is outside our building often, providing extra security and comfort. There is no reason to be alarmed when you see them.


Please alert us if you will be transporting guests from the service by bus, and we will help you pick the appropriate location for pickup/drop off.


There is no parking at the temple. Nearby parking lots are at 65th Street between Madison and Parks, 65th Street between Park and Lexington, and 67th Street between Fifth and Madison. Please advise your guests that street parking is limited in the area.

Special Accommodations

If you are expecting someone with special needs, please let us know by calling the Membership Office in advance. We will work with you to provide hearing devices, large print prayer books, an accessible entrance to the building, or anything else needed to accommodate your guest.


Timing (Please contact the Membership Office to schedule photos)

Morning Service

Photos may be taken in the Fifth Avenue Sanctuary between 8:30 AM and 9:30 AM prior to the service.

Afternoon Service

Photos may be taken in the sanctuary where your service will be held for an hour after the conclusion of the service.

Evening Service

Photos may be taken in in the sanctuary where your service will be held 3:30 PM till 4:30 PM, prior to the service.

You may also take photos the day of your final rehearsal. If you are interested in taking photos during your rehearsals, please notify the Membership Office.


Photographers and videographers must remain in the balcony (Fifth Avenue Sanctuary) or choir loft (Beth-El Chapel) during the service, and refrain from moving around or using flash and shutter sounds. This allows our congregants and guests to enjoy the sanctity of this special day without interruption or distraction.


Morning Service

Your service will be broadcast as part of our Shabbat service livestream. A thumb drive of your service can be provided for no additional cost.

Evening/Afternoon Service

You may choose to hire our livestreaming staff for $400. You will be provided with a private livestream link and password, and a thumb drive of your service.


Here are a few important things to consider when creating your invitations:

  • Temple Name: Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York or Temple Emanu-El
  • Temple Address: Fifth Avenue and Sixty-Fifth Street or Fifth Avenue and 65th Street
  • Wording: The correct wording for this milestone is that your child is “becoming a bar mitzvah” or you are “celebrating your child becoming a bat mitzvah.” We will be happy to help you with the wording for your invitation if you have any questions about proper usage.
  • Review: If you would like us to review your invitation, please email it to .


Fifth Avenue Sanctuary

Flowers are provided by the temple’s Bimah Flower Fund during morning services, and remain there for the duration of the day. If you would like to contribute to the Bimah Flowers Fund for the week of your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah, please call the Development Office.

Beth-El Chapel

Flowers will not be provided for services in the Beth-El Chapel, so if you would like to provide your own, you may have your florist prepare a 10” (or smaller) arrangement, or be in touch with the Temple Emanu-El florist, John Fellan who may be reached at Fellan Florist at (800) 335-5267.

Booking a Kiddush

Depending on your service time, you may have the option of booking a Kiddush at Temple Emanu-El. Reservation requests for a Kiddush can be submitted starting one year in advance of the event. Please contact Rachel Sackman, Director of Special Events and Operations, to book your Kiddush at (212) 507-9574.

Other things to consider


If it is your custom to wear a kippah during services, black kippot are always available in the temple lobby, or you may choose to create personalized kippot for your guests to wear. There are various websites and Judaica stores in the area that will help you to design a kippah for your occasion.


Many families elect to create programs to serve as a guide for the service, and to highlight specific songs, prayers, and other important moments. A template for B’nai Mitzvah programs can be provided by the Membership Office.

Hosting an Event

Would you like to book an event space at Emanu-El for your celebration?

Fifth Avenue Sanctuary

Beth-El Chapel