‘A Beast’ of a Bar Mitzvah


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


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

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


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

The (retail) Cost of Education Survey: Stores anticipate big school-supplies sales

Education, Back to School, Shopping.

Back-to-school sales are already in full force at stores such as Target and Wal-Mart, and this year, families are expected to spend more on school supplies and incidentals, shopping both in-store and online. The National Retail Federation’s annual survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, looks at shopping tendencies, anticipated spending and digital habits. Survey… Read More

Diversity in Programming Vast array of academic programs in nearby private schools prove popular with parents

Parents in the Jewish community have many choices when determining which school will provide the best foundation for their child. Many have turned to private schools due to the academic and extracurricular programs they offer, and some Jewish families choose schools that include a religious component, even if it is not Jewish. [pullquote]“Learning should be… Read More

Eco-friendly lunch boxes


As more and more parents try to pack their kids healthier school lunches and school systems have grappled with providing healthier options, eco-friendly lunch boxes and packaging are becoming more common in schools too. Whether it’s a metal lunch box or an insulated carrier, students seem to be ditching the days of plastic and paper… Read More