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Jewish Journal

A novel idea: A mitzvah project started 15 years ago continues to spread the joy of reading

By Kylie Jane Wakefield

May 16, 2014 | 12:19 pm

Robyn Strumpf delivered baskets of books to Sulphur Springs Elementary School in Canyon Country as part of Project Books and Blankies. Photo courtesy of Robyn Strumpf

When Robyn Strumpf was a child, she had trouble learning how to read. But with a little time, patience and help from her parents, she excelled and became an enthusiastic lover of... read full article

  • Bar/Bat mitzvah attire that inspires

    By Elyse Glickman

    May 16, 2014 | 12:05 pm


    Un Deux Trois features looks for girls designed by Beverly Shorkend.

    Back in the day, b’nai mitzvah fashion was oh-so-simple. Boys often dressed as their dad’s mini-me, while girls either donned something frilly or severe (many moms, no doubt, remember the omnipresent Gunne Sax...

  • Gifts of art from the heart

    by Michelle Chabin

    May 16, 2014 | 11:22 am

    As bar and bat mitzvah celebrations have become more sophisticated and often more costly over the years, so, too, have many of the gifts. While many 12- and 13-year-olds continue to welcome fountain pens or jewelry, it’s not unusual for a celebrant to request an iPod or...

  • Just add water

    By Elyse Glickman

    May 14, 2014 | 3:01 pm

    While some local families opt for bar or bat mitzvah celebrations in synagogues or hotel ballrooms, others are drawn to a more intimate destination with a stunning backdrop: the Pacific Ocean. 

    There’s a certain romance tied to beachfront weddings, and that appeal extends to...

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  • A new way to send out invitations

    by Virginia Isaad

    May 14, 2014 | 2:55 pm

    When Will Bernstein’s only daughter, Marjolaine, asked for a video to be included in the online invitation for her upcoming bat mitzvah in 2012, he was surprised to discover that there were no services providing that option. 

    So he made one.

    The result is Mitzvites, an online...

  • From Russia, with love

    By Julie Gruenbaum Fax

    May 14, 2014 | 2:42 pm

    Jill Cooper Lefferman doesn’t like surprises, and especially not at her daughter Maia’s bat mitzvah, where she planned every detail, from Maia’s reading from the 100-year-old Cooper family Torah to the handcrafted, color-coordinated, Maia-inspired, donatable centerpieces.

    But...

  • Special gifts for that special day

    By Julie Bien

    May 14, 2014 | 2:17 pm

    Finding the perfect gift for a 13-year-old can be difficult. You can always give a new bar or bat mitzvah money — in the traditional multiples of $18  — but if you’d rather give a more personal or meaningful gift, make it something they’ll remember.

    1. Recently considered...

  • The ultimate bar or bat mitzvah playlist

    By Ryan Torok

    May 14, 2014 | 2:09 pm

    Tired of listening to Kool & the Gang at b’nai mitzvah parties? Here is a playlist of 13 songs that will bring the shy boys and boy-crazy girls to the dance floor, while following in the talmudic tradition of adding a little commentary to the big day.

    “When I Grow Up (To Be a...

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