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Jewish Journal

Tag: Bar Mitzvah

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  • Adolescent angst gets a do-over with ReBar program

    5 days ago

    If you could change one thing about your bar or bat mitzvah, what would it be, and why? 

    Reboot, the think tank that aims to imagine ways of modernizing and revitalizing Jewish tradition, sought to answer that question Nov. 15 with its newest program, reBar. It partnered with the...

  • Gabe Baskin trains guide dogs for the blind

    2 weeks ago

    When Gabe Baskin was preparing for his bar mitzvah, he wanted to find a community service project that would tie into his Torah portion of Re’eh, meaning, “to see.”

    “So I thought there is no better way than helping others see,” said Baskin, now 17.

    He reached out to Guide Dogs...

  • A Recipe For Living Well

    By Beit T'shuvah

    3 weeks ago

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of my Bar Mitzvah. It also marks the 26th anniversary of my release from Prison in Chino. So, it is truly a weekend of freedom, reflection and gratitude!

    As I think about the Torah Portion, I laugh at God’s sense of...

  • Gifts of art from the heart

    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...

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  • 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...

  • The Purim Bar Mitzvah

    March 26, 2014 | 11:24 am

    An extraordinary event, perhaps transformational, occurred here in Malibu California during Purim.   Before I tell you more, let me provide a personal context.

    It may seem paradoxical, but although I am a FFB (frum from birth), my first natural reaction is to be  a skeptic. Frum...

  • The easy way to write your speech for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah

    December 18, 2013 | 4:37 pm

    Most people are happier being reaudited by a fiber-deficient IRS agent than speaking in public. They’re even more fartutst about writing their own speeches. 

    Sometimes, we have to do both. 

    It’s easy for me. I’ve been a speechwriter all my life. But you can do it, too,...

  • Jewish ignorance is a disease, you are the cure

    By Salvador Litvak

    October 30, 2013 | 12:12 pm

    “Whoever does not visit the sick is as if he spilled blood.” — Rabbi Akiva (Nedarim 40a, B. Talmud)

    Our fellow Jews are sick. They don’t admit it. They don’t even know it. Yet the malady is grave. “The most destructive, painful, most contagious disease of all,” Rabbi Noah...

  • Should I “Rescue” My Middle-Schooler?

    Rabbi Elaine Rose Glickman

    October 23, 2013 | 8:07 pm

    My three kids and I made it out the door on time this morning - and, yes, I will happily accept congratulations for this not-always-the-case occurrence! The ride to school went smoothly, and one of our favorite safety-patrollers was on duty as my kids tumbled out of the car,...

  • Keeping the Los Angeles coast clear

    By Rachel Heller

    September 18, 2013 | 12:37 pm

    When it came time to choose a charity project for his September 2014 bar mitzvah, Ben Moody knew he wanted to support a cause close to his heart. “We’re always on our boat and at the beach, and we love the water,” Moody, 12, said of his Westlake Village family. He counts surfing...

  • Struck by lightning at camp, Ethan Kadish battling catastrophic injury

    August 20, 2013 | 10:53 am

    On Saturday, two weeks after Ethan Kadish’s 13th birthday, the members of his family will gather around a Torah scroll in the chapel of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for a small ceremony marking his entrance into adulthood.

    This was not the bar mitzvah that Scott and Alexia...

  • The Bar Mitzvah, re-examined

    By Rabbi David Wolpe

    August 20, 2013 | 10:39 am

    Last week I penned a column about a Bar Mitzvah party video that had been circulating on the Web. I was incensed not only at the video, but the currency it had achieved, making it appear that this was a paradigm of Jewish celebrations.

    The article was written at white heat. A few...

  • Have we forgotten what Bar Mitzvahs are all about?

    By Rabbi David Wolpe

    August 15, 2013 | 2:11 pm

    [UPDATE] The Bar Mitzvah, re-examined


    The egregious, licentious and thoroughly awful video that is circulating ‘celebrating’ a Bar Mitzvah contains so much that is offensive that it requires restraint to hold oneself to three ways in which this display slaughters the spirit....

  • Invites: Snail or E-mail?

    August 14, 2013 | 1:58 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...

  • Bar mitzvah video boy’s mom: ‘He’s got friends at Neiman Marcus’

    August 13, 2013 | 1:51 pm

    For most boys reaching bar mitzvah age, donning a prayer shawl is exciting enough. But Sam Horowitz of Dallas knew he wanted more.

    Horowitz, the star of a newly viral bar mitzvah video (the bar mitzvah actually happened last year), donned a sparkly white suit for the occasion and...

  • Lost in translation: The Israel-America disconnect

    August 2, 2013 | 11:04 am

    Back when I was growing up, the modern State of Israel was the center of the Jewish universe. It was at the core of being Jewish, tucked inside the greater American-Jewish identity. There were no contradictions. Jews were solid U.S. citizens, equally proud of their American...

  • B’nai Mitzvah @ 50… and beyond

    July 19, 2013 | 10:23 am

    Trisha Roth completed two years of study in order to be ready for her recent bat mitzvah. When the big day came, she wore a tallit that belonged to her late brother. But something else made the experience particularly special.

    She was 67.

    A grandmother of seven — her youngest...

  • Ethics of Jewish education

    by Ariel Picard

    July 9, 2013 | 10:21 am

    It is well known that at a bar or bat mitzvah, the parents say the blessing, "Blessed is he who has now freed me from responsibility for this child." At first glance, this looks to be a very awkward thing to say to a 12- or 13-year old child, that we want to rid ourselves of our...

  • How to make b’nai mitzvah meaningful

    April 18, 2013 | 10:14 am

    I was meeting with an upcoming bat mitzvah girl the other day and talking with her about the Torah (what else?). I pointed out all the books that surrounded us in my study and mentioned that as someone who has published five books myself, how thrilled I would be if people were...

  • A survival guide for parents of b’nai mitzvah kids

    By Nancy Sokoler Steiner

    April 17, 2013 | 4:17 pm

    So you’re planning a bar or bat mitzvah? Mazel tov! You may feel overwhelmed by decisions and details. I certainly did when it was time for my son, Steven, to take part in the ritual this past December. I asked experienced parents for advice and promised to “pay it forward” once I...

  • 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...

  • ‘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...

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