The Kotel is situated in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem. Services take place outdoors in an area called Robinson’s Arch / Davidson Center / Jerusalem Archaeological Park / Southern Wall Excavations. All these names refer to an area along the Kotel which is a few feet south of the main Western Wall Plaza and which has been set aside specifically for celebrations where mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, other relatives and friends can all be together. Rabbi Tishkoff can reserve space and a Torah scroll for the occasion.
During winter months, it’s advisable to have an alternative indoor venue in case of inclement weather. During summer months it’s advisable to have the service as early as possible (even as early as 6:30 or 7:30 a.m.) to take advantage of the cool morning air. On Monday and Thursday mornings, which are the traditional times the Torah is read, the site often has many families celebrating B’nei Mitzvah ceremonies at the same time, so it can be full of life and cacophonous! Families who want a quieter setting should consider having the service on a different day of the week, e.g., on Friday mornings (this is also easier for Israeli guests since they typically don’t work on Fridays). Interestingly, and somewhat paradoxically, B’nei Mitzvah services are not held at this site on Shabbat or most Holiday mornings since the support staff which manages the site does not work at those times.
Comfortable clothing and walking shoes are recommended. Entrance fees may apply depending on the time of day and day of the week.