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Event Planning

B’nai Mitzvah Preparation: Frequently Asked Questions

A Supplement to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Handbook

How do I go about setting up a reception at Congregation Beth Am?

  1. Select the date and time for your event. Be sure to allow sufficient time to set up and clean up the room(s) you will be using.

  2. Call the Executive Director at 858.481.8454 (ext. 13) to reserve the room(s) you need.

  3. The Executive Director will review the date, time and availability of the room(s) in question and determine the room rental fees, if any, that apply.

  4. Please keep in mind that spaces may be needed for multiple events around the time of your planned reception. To be sure that you and your service providers will have sufficient time to set up and clean up before and after your function, please keep the Executive Director aware of your plans and facilities access preferences so your needs can be harmonized with those of the congregation and other facilities users.

What reception events are typically provided by the Bar/Bat Mitzvah family?

  1. It is customary for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah family to sponsor or co-sponsor the Friday night Oneg and the Saturday Kiddush after services.  Unless other arrangements are made, the congregation will supply the basic food for the Oneg and Kiddush.  The Executive Director can advise you of the cost for sponsoring or co-sponsoring the Oneg and/or the Kiddush, and possible arrangements to supplement or supply the food to be served.

  2. A Bar/Bat Mitzvah family may arrange for a private dinner in the Hassman Family Social Hall or Beit Midrash before Friday night services. If the congregation is already sponsoring a Friday night dinner open to the congregation, you may also arrange with the Executive Director for your guests to attend that event.

  3. A Bar/Bat Mitzvah family may provide a Kiddush luncheon following Saturday morning services. The luncheon must include the congregation. There is no rental fee for the Hassman Family Social Hall and related furnishings.

  4. A Bar/Bat Mitzvah family may also host an evening event in the Hassman Family Social Hall.  The Executive Director can discuss your options with you.  It is important to remember that your evening event activities must conform to the laws of Shabbat.

Do I have a choice of caterers?

Yes.  The congregation maintains a list of caterers who have the right to use the congregation’s kitchens.  The list is available in the Administration office of the congregation or you may  click here. Caterers not on the approved panel cannot be used for a function at the congregation.  The congregation designates a kitchen supervisor to monitor the activities of the caterer to assure observation of the congregation’s Kashrut standards and proper use of the facilities.  You will be charged for the cost of this service, and the caterer’s services will also be your obligation.  Your caterer should reserve facilities access time with the Executive Director to avoid conflicting access demands.

What furnishings does the congregation supply?

The congregation has banquet tables, chairs, serving tables, dishes, flatware, glasses, coffee and hot water urns, a dance floor (up to 21’ x 21’), projection screen, microphones, and other furnishings available at no additional cost to the room rental (if any).   Subject to Kashrut requirements, furnishings and equipment may also be rented or purchased from outside vendors at your expense.

How do I find party rental and entertainment services?

Photographers, invitation suppliers, entertainers and other vendors may advertise on the congregation’s website or in the monthly newsletter.  We recommend you consider using such advertisers.  Your caterer or our Director of Activities & Communications, Susna Mualim, may be able to supply you with additional references.  Please give the Executive Director the names and contact information for your service providers, and instruct your service providers to reserve facilities access times with the Executive Director.

What happens if there are multiple simhas on the same day?

If there is a double Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or other simhas such as a baby naming, aufruf, etc., there may be multiple sponsors or co-sponsors for an Oneg or Kiddush.  In the event of a double Bar/Bat Mitzvah or other simha, the families may agree to have a joint luncheon in the Hassman Family Social Hall. The Executive Director can assist a Bar/Bat Mitzvah family in considering the available options and working with another simha family in planning joint activities.  

What are the typical sponsor/rental fees of the congregation for a member?

  1. Sponsor fee for a basic Oneg (congregation provides the food): $350.

  2. Sponsor fee for a basic Kiddush (congregation provides the food): $750 + $10 per guest.

  3. Hassman Family Social Hall/Beit Midrash rental for private Friday night dinner: $100 for 20 or less guests, $210 for over 20 guests.

  4. Hassman Family Social Hall rental for Shabbat Kiddush luncheon open to congregation: $0.

  5. Hassman Family Social Hall rental for private Saturday or other evening party: $450 plus $30 per hour for mandatory security guard, $25 per hour for mandatory maintenance personnel to be arranged by Executive Director.

Hassman Family Social Hall rental typically includes the right to use congregation’s tables, chairs, dance floor, projection screen and microphones. Contact caterer for table linens. The sponsor fee for an Oneg or Kiddush luncheon is typically waived when the sponsor pays a panel caterer to provide all of the food for the congregation’s participation in the Oneg or Kiddush.  Please consult the Executive Director for details.

Tue, November 12 2019 14 Cheshvan 5780