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Tag: Bar Mitzvah

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  • Bat Mitzvah at the Kotel: Is it possible?

    April 17, 2013 | 3:50 pm

    Every week, dozens of bar mitzvah boys from Israel and the Diaspora celebrate their rite of passage at the Kotel, also known as the Western Wall, which, after the Temple Mount, is Judaism’s holiest site.   

    Many Diaspora families, especially from the more liberal streams of...

  • The sky’s the limit

    April 17, 2013 | 3:33 pm

    Preparing for the complete bar or bat mitzvah experience — the ceremony, the food, the entertainment — can feel like a three-ring circus. So maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that carnivals are one of the hottest themes these days as kids prepare for the biggest party they’ve...

  • Creating inclusiveness at interfaith b’nai mitzvah

    April 17, 2013 | 12:45 pm

    For interfaith couples who choose a Jewish identity for their families — even ones who have shared holidays with their extended families and answered questions for years — a bar or bat mitzvah raises new questions.

    Am I welcome? If I attend, what will be expected of me? Should I...

  • Including peers with special needs can be part of a teen’s transition from child to adult

    By Elyse Glickman

    April 17, 2013 | 12:35 pm

    For many teens, a bar or bat mitzvah is not just a rite of passage and an embrace of a community’s Jewish values; it also is an opportunity to make a mark socially by inviting BFFs and other classmates.

    In the process, there are going to be kids who will not make the list — some...

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  • ‘Mazel Tov’: Lifecycles of the Rich and Famous

    By Jay Firestone

    April 17, 2013 | 12:30 pm

    “Entourage” star Jeremy Piven remembers his bar mitzvah as “a rite of passage.” Growing up in Evanston, Ill., Piven recalls how his service was actually in a church, because they belonged to an extremely liberal Reconstructionist congregation. But unlike his character on the hit HBO show, Piven wasn’t that interested in a big, fancy party.

    “It wasn’t a big community of people battling each other for the biggest bar mitzvah, like in my movie ‘Keeping Up With the Steins,’” he says.

    Read more here.

  • The 21st century b’nai mitzvah

    By Ryan Torok

    March 13, 2013 | 7:41 am

    When Isa Aron considers b’nai mitzvah today, she gets the impression that parents — and sometimes synagogues — care more about their son or daughter performing flawlessly when on the bimah than they do about their forming lasting connections to Judaism.

    “The moment itself is...

  • Documentary filmmaker has a ‘Hava Nagila’ in her heart

    By Elyse Glickman

    February 27, 2013 | 8:15 am

    "Hava Nagila” is one of those songs, like “Celebration” and “Auld Lang Syne,” that brings back memories and gets stuck in one’s head. In fact, “Hava Nagila” is so ingrained in American pop culture that many non-Jews can readily identify it, and high-profile non-Jewish recording...

  • A Timeline of Myself and Judaism

    By Beit T'shuvah

    February 20, 2013 | 1:44 pm

    By Ben Spielberg

    Age .2: I have just been circumcised for no apparent reason. A bearded man prayed to me. I cried throughout the night.

    Age 4: I have begun to notice that there are other people in this world known as “Christians.” My favorite television shows all have specials...

  • Daniel’s Bar Mitzvah: After Sunday Mornin’

    By Jeremy Fine

    February 20, 2013 | 8:50 am

           Yesterday, when I saw Daniel’s Bar Mitzvah Save the Date it was up to about 1,400 YouTube views and when I checked back this morning it was at 60,000. Daniel’s Bar Mitzvah has gone viral and I expect it to be over 100,000 views by the end of the day. Much has been said about...

  • Boy donates two ambulances

    January 16, 2013 | 2:04 pm

    Robert Leeds’ bar mitzvah party last February was something special.

    During the cocktail hour, Cirque du Soleil entertainers roller-skated on a half-pipe. The celebration — which had a British invasion theme with English guards, a teahouse and traditional pub food — also featured...

  • An example to her children

    January 9, 2013 | 11:55 am

    Fourteen years ago, Catherine and Bruce Penso’s oldest daughter, Leah, was ready to become a bat mitzvah. But before her big day, Leah told her parents that she wanted to go to the mikveh and formally convert. 

    Catherine and her younger daughter, Rebecca, decided to join Leah in...

  • ‘Hava Nagila’ film chronicles song’s journey from shtetl to cliche

    January 7, 2013 | 2:52 pm

    You're at a wedding or bar mitzvah, mingling at the bar or catching up with a distant relative, when you hear it -- the opening notes of a familiar tune that as if by some invisible force carries you and other guests to the dance floor for the rousing dance circle ritual.

    Does...

  • Destination Bar Mitzvahs

    By Elyse Glickman

    October 17, 2012 | 4:38 pm

    Factor in the enormous guest lists, global cuisine and diversions such as high-tech interactive entertainment, and it is clear that bar and bat mitzvah celebrations have become more sophisticated than they were even a decade ago. 

    But not every student wants to celebrate becoming...

  • Making mitzvahs feel authentic

    August 22, 2012 | 5:08 pm

    Jack Kessler, 14, completed his mitzvah project last summer by working at a Friendship Circle camp for teens on the autism spectrum. He says the volunteer effort, which some synagogues require of their b’nai mitzvah students, helped him realize his priorities.

    “School is the...

  • Bar mitzvah honors child Holocaust victim

    By Ryan Torok

    August 22, 2012 | 4:54 pm

    “I’m just one of more than 18,000 young people in over 750 congregations worldwide becoming a keeper of the flame of memory in the first post-survivor generation,” Trevor Goodman announced from the bimah during his bar mitzvah speech, referring to his involvement with Remember...

  • Bar mitzvah fireworks have N.Y.-area congressman in hot water

    August 15, 2012 | 2:40 pm

    A suburban New York congressman was accused of soliciting donations from a constituent who sought the lawmaker’s help in gaining government permits for a bar mitzvah fireworks show.

    Eric Semier of Southampton, N.Y., was throwing the bash for his son and needed the help of Rep. Tim...

  • What happens to a Hebrew-School dropout?

    June 27, 2012 | 1:23 pm

    My 11-year-old son, Ari, is now a Hebrew-school dropout.

    I am aware that that’s the name of a comedy act and a line of T-shirts. But, for me, the phrase is not a punch line, but a punch in the gut.

    I imagine my response was just like parents whose kids drop out of high school:...

  • Words from the heart

    June 27, 2012 | 1:11 pm

    The nerve-wracking morning of a bar or bat mitzvah will eventually be all that’s left standing between a student and his or her catered night of extravagant partying. The b’nai mitzvah coach already has helped detangle the Hebrew and trope, but the pressure of reading the Torah...

  • Snail mail or e-mail: How will your next invitation be sent?

    June 27, 2012 | 1:01 pm

    My bat mitzvah invitation had bright purple embossed text on a hot pink card with my name enlarged in decorative script at the top and daisies adorning the bottom.

    Twenty-plus years later, I remember eagerly waiting for my friends to receive the invitations and running home weeks...

  • David Arquette has bar mitzvah at Western Wall

    June 11, 2012 | 2:31 pm

    Actor David Arquette had a spontaneous bar mitzvah at the Western Wall while in Israel filming his new show for the Travel Channel.

    Arquette, 40, read from the Torah and put on tefillin in front of the Wall on Monday.

    The former “Scream” star later posted on his Twitter account,...

  • Muhammad Ali attends grandson’s bar mitzvah

    June 6, 2012 | 11:24 am

    The grandson of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali became a bar mitzvah at a Philadelphia synagogue.

    Jacob Wertheimer, the son of Khaliah Ali-Wertheimer and Spencer Wertheimer, was called to the Torah on April 28 at Congregation Rodelph Shalom in front of 150 people including the boxer,...

  • Non-Orthodox movements continue making inroads in Israel

    May 22, 2012 | 1:50 pm

    After a Jerusalem-area’s religious council allowed a female Reform rabbi to participate in its proceedings, some advocates of liberal Judaism in the country are hailing their inroads into the Orthodox-dominated religious infrastructure.

    At the beginning of May, the Orthodox...

  • Big Sunday weekend’s bar mitzvah year

    By Ryan Torok

    May 3, 2012 | 12:34 pm

    Its thirteenth year, Big Sunday, the Mitzvah Day that has grown into a full weekend of volunteer opportunities, takes place this weekend, May 4, 5 and 6. Last year some 50,000 people showed up to participate in community service projects throughout California, according to Big Sunday...

  • From Bar Mitzvah to Yahrzeit, Breed Street Shul comes full circle

    By Julie Gruenbaum Fax

    May 2, 2012 | 12:11 pm

    Milton “Muttie” Siegel celebrated his bar mitzvah in 1937 at the Breed Street Shul, the largest synagogue in Boyle Heights. Last month, Siegel’s family marked his yahrzeit, the anniversary of his death, at the same shul, which has recently been partially refurbished as a...

  • Barmitzvahman — Hero for more than a day

    April 25, 2012 | 11:09 am

    Who is the hero of a bar or bat mitzvah? It’s the 13-year-old, who, after a day of chanting, speaking and being bear-hugged by distant relatives, sees himself or herself imbued with powers of memory, eloquence and forbearance far beyond that of ordinary teenagers. But how do you...

  • Raising the bar brings zest, creativity to rite of passage

    By Rachel Heller

    April 25, 2012 | 11:05 am

    At his recent bar mitzvah, Noah Genco-Kamin managed to tell one of the most well-known stories in the Jewish canon — that of the Israelites wandering in the desert after the Exodus — in a way that no one present had heard it told before: from the perspective of a cow.

    Wearing a...

  • Drake gets re-bar mitzvah’d

    By Brad A. Greenberg

    April 10, 2012 | 9:44 pm

    Details of the latest Drake video, seen above (explicit version), from Bloggish:

    Drake released his newest music video this week, titled “HYFR” (Hell Yeah F***ing Right). It features a lot of swearing, dancing women in minimal clothing and fellow rapper Lil’ Wayne.

    What...

  • Drake’s bar mitzvah [VIDEO]

    April 10, 2012 | 2:30 pm

    Drake released his newest music video this week, titled “HYFR” (Hell Yeah F***ing Right). It features a lot of swearing, dancing women in minimal clothing and fellow rapper Lil’ Wayne.

    What makes this video different from all other music videos?

    Well, for one thing, the entire...

  • Moves Like Moses [VIDEO]

    By JewishJournal

    April 5, 2012 | 12:46 pm

    A Bar Mitzvah A cappella song brought to you by Pella.

  • From the mouths of the babes…

    By Julia Bendis

    February 22, 2012 | 9:00 pm

    Somehow I’ve known all along that kids don’t stay kids for long (I know I’m a genius), but I didn’t expect to get ‘educated’ about various sexual subjects by a twelve-year-old boy.  More importantly… my twelve-year-old boy.  When this school year started, so did the...

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