Making Magic

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Rabbis often speak of the magic of Torah, but one local bar mitzvah boy took the sentiment to heart and brought Torah lessons and sleight of hand to residents of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Village. Natan Gamliel, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Krieger Schechter Day School who lained three aliyot and the haftorah at his… Read More

Party Hardy

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When it was time for his bar mitzvah, Zachary Stein, son of a successful Hollywood talent agent, was given a “Titanic”-themed bar mitzvah party. The affair, which cost a half-million dollars, featured a model of the Titanic with the words, “Mazel tov, Zachary” scrawled on the front of the ship. Among other wacky gimmicks, the… Read More

Tasty Trending

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The days of bar mitzvah bagel brunches and backyard pizza parties are over. From cupcake trucks to chocolate fountains, bar mitzvahs have gotten bigger and grander in the Baltimore area. “I have seen crazy things at bar mitzvahs,” says Linwoods restaurant sous-chef Abby Chaconas. “We have had people rent out the entire restaurant, hire their… Read More

My Extravagant Bar Mitzvah Party

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It was 16-and-a-half years ago, but I can remember my bar mitzvah like it was yesterday. My brother and I played guitar on the concluding song to close out the service, we had an oneg afterward and then had a few hours until what I’m sure my friends considered the main event: the party. The… Read More

Sprucing Up the Modern Simcha

If the words “kosher catering” conjure up visions of bland and unhealthy food, and memories of bar and bat mitzvahs past still haunt you, remember that planning your upcoming celebration doesn’t have to be a monotonous process full of seen-it-befores or tried-that-onces. With the help of creative kosher catering professionals — or by simply looking… Read More

Flashback: Jenny Seidman

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Although she says most of the details of her 1981 bat mitzvah party are fuzzy, there is one thing that native Baltimorean Jenny Seidman and probably most of her young guests remember clearly. Radio icon and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Sarah Fleischer of Baltimore’s 98 Rock was her DJ! Seidman became a… Read More

Dude, How to Attend a Bar Mitzvah as an Adult

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As young people, bar and bat mitzvah parties helped us build character: awkward social interactions, quiet slow dances where you desperately try not to make eye contact and condescending head pats from adults and kids taller than us. Now that we’re older, how do we behave ourselves at our nephew’s celebration? The service The first… Read More

Not Your Bubbie’s Bat Mitzvah

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It’s no secret that many Jewish organizations dedicate considerable energy and resources to attract new and maintain existing members of all ages. The bar and bat mitzvah experience is undergoing a similar transformation. Where years ago the 11- or 12-year-old might embark upon their bar or bat mitzvah studies more or less on their own… Read More

Parshah Connects Us

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I may have been first, but I wasn’t the best. Nearly 10 years ago, I stood on stage and uttered the first word of my Haf’torah at my bat mitzvah: “HALO.” Sounds like hello, doesn’t it? I felt like I was saying hello to the world of Jewish adulthood. As an over-enthusiastic yet semi-tone deaf… Read More

Bat Mitzvah: The Real Deal

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Once upon a time when my now 18-year-old daughter was 12 and preparing for her bat mitzvah, she received a package of materials from our synagogue. One of the items in the package was a book called, “Putting God on the Guest List.” I suppose the well-meaning clergy [as well as the three rabbis who… Read More