Members of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation said Monday that a record number of bar mitzva celebrations welcoming Jewish teenagers into manhood had been held at the Kotel (Western Wall) on Monday morning. Approximately 300 bar mitzva celebrations were held throughout the morning, they said. One hundred and eighty of the celebrations were organized by the foundation, which provides free assistance to Jewish families that wish to celebrate a bar mitzva at the Kotel.
Another 23 celebrations were sponsored by a family from Miami that came to celebrate the bar mitzva of their own 13-year-old son. The family decided to host 23 children from Sderot and surrounding towns as well, and to provide each young man with a tallit (prayer shawl), tefillin (phylacteries), and celebratory meal for him and his family.