My son is having his Bar Mitzvah early next year. Whom from work should I invite? I have a dozen directs and I also work fairly closely with some of the other managers in our business unit as well as some of their directs. And then there is my manager, the manager of our business unit, etc. I don’t have relationships with any of these folks outside of work.

I haven’t seen this topic come up in the forums and I’m sure that others have had similar questions relating to their family celebrations.

My case may be a bit different than some: There will a huge number of families invited to the Bar Miztvah as my wife is a Rabbi and we will be inviting the entire congregation. (We are just having the service followed by lunch, not another event in the evening.) Most of these invitees aren’t close friends of our family.

Thank you,


TomW's picture
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I think there's a difference between inviting the congregation and inviting co-workers. I would compare it this way: do you invite your congregation to the company picnic because all your coworkers are invited? No, because in some situations it's appropriate to invite an entire group while excluding another, unrelated group. (Yes, I realize a Bar Miztvah is a lot more serious, but I think the analogy still works).

I would only invite people from work that I'm close to, and even then only those who I can say would feel comfortable coming to such a celebration. For example, I'd invite my boss to such a thing because he and I talk outside work, we've met each other's families, and will probably be friends long after I leave my company. I'd invite him because I want him there to share in the celebration.

The congregation, on the other hand, seems like a logical group to invite. Your wife is a Rabbi and is held in high esteem in the community. It's only natural for the congregation to want to be a part of the Bar Mitzvah.

PS: Mazel Tov to you and your son on this happy occasion!

HMac's picture

Dennis - great question.

It's OK to apply different criteria to the two groups: the congregation is being invited because you share a faith connection. So even though they're not all "close friends of the family" they're invited because they're part of the larger religious community.

This isn't like throwing a cocktail party and wondering about the politics of inviting bosses - you'll get a pass for limiting it to real friends from work.


dgrinberg's picture

Thanks for the responses. Now I just have to figure out who my "real" friends from work are...

One way to do this is to quit work and see who you remain friends with but I don't plan on doing that!


asteriskrntt1's picture

I think Hugh and Tom nailed it. You can have multiple criteria for the work group; however, if you don't normally socialize with the people, they probably should not be on the invite list.

Plus, if anyone gives you grief, you can play the Rabbi's position in the community card saying "Sorry, but we just can't physically invite anyone beyond the congregation. It is a small temple and there just isn't room."


PS - Isn't this a question you should be asking your Rabbi? :wink: