Destination B’nai Mitzvah

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Karen Feuerstein wanted her daughter to feel special on the day she officially became bat mitzvah, so she decided to break the mold and host her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony at a tourist destination. In March, Karen and her family will travel east from their home in Bethesda to the National Aquarium at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor…. Read More

Out Of The Box

(Photos by David Stuck)

“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes …” (Deuteronomy 6:8). The verse is one that we read every day in the Shema. It refers to tefillin, the little leather boxes that position between your eyes and on the top of your arm. The… Read More

Seriously?

There’s nothing like a simcha — dressing up, partying with family and friends, enjoying a delicious meal. Check out the great food that Bonnie and Arthur Sorak served when they hosted bar mitzvah parties for their boys: spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce, lasagna, portabella mushroom salad, pasta marinara, garlic bread, roasted potatoes and a… Read More

All Our Children

It began like any other d’var Torah. “Good afternoon. My portion today is Vaera from the Book of Exodus,” said Joel Friedman, as he looked out at family members and friends who had gathered for his bar mitzvah at Beth Israel Congregation in Owings Mills. But Joel’s d’var Torah and his bar mitzvah were rather… Read More

Kinderkool

It’s not always easy to find b’nai mitzvah gifts that have meaning but that will still appeal to a young teen. Fortunately, the Jewish Museum of Maryland has a variety of beautiful, whimsical and teen-friendly Judaic gift items that will make your search pleasant and easy. Where else can you shop and get some culture… Read More

An Adult: Really?

Jewish law tells us that a bat mitzvah is a significant milestone, different than other birthdays. According to Jewish law, after her bat mitzvah, a young woman has moral responsibility for her own actions. In that respect, she is no longer sheltered by her parents. Surprisingly, Jewish law makes no reference to cell phones. We… Read More

One Milestone At A Time

While Some moms like to plan ahead, I’m happy just savoring my little boy’s early years. And who has time to fantasize about the future anyway? With each day requiring constant vigilance to ensure the health and happiness of both him and his beloved collection of nomadic teddy bears, my son’s transition to adulthood is… Read More

B’nai Mitzvah Prep 101

It’s hard to believe, but the time is finally here! Your child is truly beginning his or her bar or bat mitzvah studies. Wondering what to expect? Bar and bat mitzvah preparations usually begin with an orientation meeting with the synagogue’s b’nai mitzvah coordinator nine months before the service. Students then have a series of… Read More

Keith Michel

Joel Friedman joyfully celebrates his bar mitzvah. His mother says, “He felt like a rock star.” (photo provided)

Rumor has it that Keith Michel wanted to wear a rust-colored corduroy suit to his bar mitzvah. When you consider that it was 1981, it’s not really so hard to imagine. Now 45, Michel has two children, ages 14 and 20, and is engaged to be remarried. A Gilman School graduate who attended Skidmore College,… Read More