Dealing with Disability Special needs b’nai mitzvahs face own set of challenges

Evan and Jacob Burman

Having special needs, whether cognitive, developmental or physical, doesn’t exclude children and their families from wanting to make b’nai mitzvah, but it does make it more challenging. Lori and David Burman have two sons, Jacob, 16 and Evan, 13. Evan had his bar mitzvah this past August, despite struggling with dyslexia. But Lori said that… Read More

Bat mitzvahs around the world

Bat mitzvahs are a common occurrence in countries such as the United States and Israel, but what about Bolivia, Honduras and Cochabamba? “Today I am a women: Stories of Bat Mitzvah around the world” by Barbara Vinick and Shulamit Reinharz shares different stories of bat mitzvahs held from a variety of backgrounds. The stories give… Read More

All the help you need

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Putting aside the fact you are catering mostly to teenagers, planning a bar or bat mitzvah is similar to planning a wedding. Where are you holding the ceremony? What kind of food are you serving? Do you have a photographer? It can all be summed up in one word: stressful. “The Bar and Bat Mitzvah… Read More

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