Those who live in the Jewish Quarter have gotten used to the multitude of sounds regularly streaming through their alleyways: from the joyous beats of Middle Eastern-style drums to the piercing heralds of the shofar, and from the familiar tunes of traditional prayer songs to the rhythmic clapping of crowds. As Bar Mitzvah celebrants pass through the ancient streets of the Jewish Quarter and close in on the Western Wall, their jubilant expressions have been deemed disruptive to worshippers at the Wall and loud celebrations banned from the praying area. But that hasn’t stopped the age-old tradition of accompanying a Bar Mitzvah boy to his ceremony with music and song. And as many continue this special tradition with a range of Middle Eastern and African instruments, including darbuka drums, violins, and wind instruments, they serve to remind Western Wall tourists, locals and worshippers alike of the incredibly rich range of Jewish traditional music, instruments and songs that from around the world are now voiced and given new meaning here at the Western Wall.
Musical accompaniment at religious services and rituals dates back to the days of the First Temple, more than 2000 years ago. Today, choosing to enhance your celebration with musical accompaniment means reviving a centuries-old practice, but with a modern twist.
Our range of drummers and singers that you choose to accompany your Bar Mitzvah celebration run the gamut of Jewish tradition and culture. Options include: a Klezmer band (clarinet, violin and accordion) in full Hassidic dress; an African-style drumming circle; specific songs; a shofar; flutes; saxophones; and even darbukot, Middle Eastern drums. We also have a chupah covering for use at your celebration.
Band and/or singer accompaniment should be arranged ahead of your celebration day. The celebratory route to the Western Wall generally starts from the Dung Gate, the closest gate to the Western Wall; however, longer routes from the Zion Gate through the Jewish Quarter can also be arranged.
The nature of the Bar Mitzvah celebration is up to you - and we are eager to help you make it the best for your family. For example, helping you plan light refreshments for your guests, even drinks for the attendants is easier with locals who are familiar with the area; or with recommending what to wear, according to modesty restrictions or weather. Some companies offer musical accompaniment for your and your family from the moment you step off the tour bus until you reach the Wall and then head off for a festive meal at a nearby restaurant of your choosing.
But not matter what you choose, adding music and song to your family’s celebration will leave lasting and enjoyable memories of this significant Jewish rite of passage.
While you’re here with your entire family, we highly recommend adding a tour of the Old City to your celebration and experiencing the beautiful and historic sites of Jerusalem.
For more information or to start arranging your family’s special day, contact us here.