Preparation Is Key

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“Before anything else,” Alexander Graham Bell once said, “preparation is the key to success.” These sage words of advice imparted by one of history’s most significant communication innovators certainly hold true when it comes to one of the most important transitions in the life of a young man or woman. Despite the variety of themes,… Read More

5 Go-To Venues

M&T Bank Stadium

A bar or bat mitzvah is a once-in-a-lifetime simchah that brings friends and family together for a joyous occasion to celebrate a Jewish child’s coming of age. Choosing a venue might seem like a daunting task consisting only of liking a space or not, but in reality, it is a crucial decision that sets the… Read More

Fashion! Turn to the Left

Synchronicity Boutique (Photo by David Stuck)

One crucial aspect of the b’nai mitzvah ceremony, not to mention post-party, is looking the part. “Thirteen is a very tricky age,” Synchronicity Boutique owner Karen Mazer said, amplifying her observation with the notion that in outfitting both younger and older persons alike, she and her staff have all manner of considerations to deal with… Read More

Getting the Party Started

©istockphoto.com/Massimo Merlini

There is an art to entertaining. Stand-up comedians need timing, warm-up guys need to be able to get a crowd excited without surpassing the main act. However, nothing surpasses the magic of the b’nai mitzvah emcee. “You can bring someone in to play music, but we specialize in entertainment,” said Doug Sandler, who has DJ’ed… Read More

Reflecting on Bar, Bat Mitzvah Experiences

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Although it was more than 21 years ago, Andy Hoffman remembers his bar mitzvah party like it was yesterday. Hoffman, 34, owner of Gourmet Again, celebrated with about 175 family and friends at the Woodholme Country in Pikesville, where the theme of the night was golf. Each table had a different professional golfer whom Hoffman… Read More

Food Station Specialization Bar and bat mitzvah caterers try to cover all bases when planning for events

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“Something for everyone” seems to be the common refrain among caterers in 2015 in their approach to preparing for bar and bat mitzvah celebrations. Caterers in Baltimore often cook for several dozen parties per year, customizing the menu in such a way that attempts to meet the needs of each set of guests. Owings Mills… Read More

‘A Beast’ of a Bar Mitzvah

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There are two things Matt Biers-Ariel never expected would happen to him. The first thing is his son telling him he didn’t want to have a bar mitzvah. The second is riding a tandem bike 3,800 miles across the country with his wife, Djina, and children Yonah and Solomon. Readers find out how one led… Read More

Same Place, Different Time

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Anne King, 64, is a native Baltimorean and has attended Chizuk Amuno Congregation all her life. She went to Hebrew school, had her bat mitzvah and saw the congregation move from its downtown location on Eutaw Place to Stevenson Road in Pikesville. After getting married (her husband also had his bar mitzvah at Chizuk Amuno),… Read More

B’nai Mitzvahs in the Holy Land Some families opt to celebrate the religious milestone in Israel

A bar mitzvah at the Kotel in Jerusalem. (©iStockphoto.com/RobertHoetink)

For the second time, Herbert Bergunder and his family traveled to Israel this August to celebrate a bar mitzvah. “Sometimes a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah in the U.S. makes a child seem very big, and religion seems beside the point,” Bergunder, a  Baltimore attorney and member at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, said. “In Israel …… Read More