Reform conversions and Reform weddings aren’t recognized by Orthodox Judaism. A bar mitzvah in a Reform synagogue is recognized in Orthodox Judaism, if the boy is considered Jewish by Orthodox Judaism? And a Reform bat mitzvah, if the girl is considered Jewish by Orthodox Judaism?

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    What does "recognizing" a bar/bar mitzvah mean?
    – Joel K
    Commented Jun 16 at 10:49
  • Orthodox Judaism consider as valid a bar mitzvah did in a Reform synagogue? Commented Jun 16 at 10:52
  • 11
    What does it mean for a bar mitzvah to be "valid"? In Orthodox Judaism, bar mitzvah is a status attained at age 13. One does not need to do anything to attain that status. Simply being born as a Jew and then waiting thirteen years is sufficient.
    – Joel K
    Commented Jun 16 at 10:55

2 Answers 2


Becoming bar or bat mitzvah simply means that one has achieved the age of majority as recognized in Jewish law. This means that one can fully participate in communal life (being capable of exempting others from their obligations) and that one is fully liable for their actions.

In order to demonstrate this new status, there is a widespread custom for boys of bar-mitzvah age to participate in the communal life of the synagogue in a way they previously would have been ineligible to. This is accomplished by reading from the Torah and/or leading prayers. These activities may only be done by males that have reached majority.

Whether one has participated communally in the above-mentioned way or not is irrelevant to the individual's status as being a bar-mitzvah (i.e. majority aged).

Reading the Torah in a Reform or Conservative synagogue, regardless of whether it is by a bar mitzvah boy, is not seen as an acceptable activity in Orthodox Judaism. Similarly a bat-mitzvah girl reading from the Torah for the community is not seen as an acceptable activity in Orthodox Judaism.

So in short, Orthodox Judaism would recognize that a child/young adult that reaches the halakhic age of majority is in fact a bar/bat mitzvah regardless of any ritual participation. It would not however endorse ritual participation in a way that is understood to contravene Orthodox understandings of halakhah.


A bar mitzvah is just a party. It doesn't cause someone to be Jewish or obligated in mitzvahs. There is nothing to recognize.

A Bar Mitzvah party is, by some authorities, a seudat mitzvah,but I don't think anyone serious holds it would allow one to have music during the omer or meat during the nine days.

  • 2
    First part would have gotten my vote. Second part (about music etc.) Not so sure about no one "seriously " holding that and what does it have to dk with the question?
    – Yoreinu
    Commented Jun 16 at 14:36
  • If a bar mitzvah allowed one to play music during the omer at the party, then perhaps a reform bar mitzvah wouldn't because they are not accepting mitzvahs so it isn't a seudat mitzvah. Commented Jun 16 at 14:53
  • A bar/bat mitzvah is not a party but the age in which a boy/girl becomes responsible for observing mitzvot. A party is a way of recognizing that. The second part of this answer has nothing to do with the question
    – Dude
    Commented Jun 16 at 18:51
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    I had learned that you could eat meat at Bar Mitzvah Seudah during the nine days but only if it is held on the exact Hebrew Birthday and it was not during the week of Tisha B'Av ie it was prior to the Sunday before Tisha B'Av. Commented Jul 1 at 17:58

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