Dude, How to Attend a Bar Mitzvah as an Adult

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

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

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

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

Destination B’nai Mitzvah

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

“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