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

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

Flashback: Sara Love Hoffman

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Sara Love Hoffman, 39, realizes that living in Baltimore since she was 11 still makes her a newcomer by Baltimore standards. Still, she did get here in time to attend Franklin Middle School and Franklin High. After she headed to college in Florida, Love Hoffman didn’t expect to find herself back in town. Yet, Baltimore’s… Read More

Adding It Up

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With the advancement of Common Core and the debate over education reform heating up, math disabilities are getting more attention at some local schools than ever before. “We started with a traditional [math education] program, and we scrapped it within three months,” says Jamie Caplan, founder of the Legacy School, a Sykesville-based school focused on… Read More