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Tag: Bat Mitzvah

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  • 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,...

  • No Western Wall bat mitzvah for Paula Abdul after all

    November 7, 2013 | 11:34 am

    Paula Abdul canceled her much-hyped bat mitzvah at the Western Wall, opting instead for a low-key ceremony in the town of Safed, The Times of Israel reports.

    Per Israel’s Tourism Industry, which hosted the former “American Idol” and “The X-Factor” judge, the switch was due to jet lag. But the officiating rabbi, Eyal Riess of the Tzfat Kabbalah Center, claims it was to avoid the media.

    Either way, the deed is done. Mazel Tov!

  • Beyonce’, aid to Goa, high-tech innovation, the Israelis at the NBA and more- This week from Israel!

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    November 4, 2013 | 11:24 am

    A late Bat-Mitzvah

    Singer and reality- show judge, Paula Abdul, visited Israel this week to make a lifelong dream come true:  After a delay of almost four decades, she celebrated her Bat-Mitzvah at the Western Wall. Abdul made that visit formal when she met with President Peres,...

  • Paula Abdul to have bat mitzvah at the Kotel

    October 28, 2013 | 11:30 am

    Better late than never, as they say! At 51 years young, former “American Idol” and “X Factor” judge Paula Abdul will celebrate her bat mitzvah at the Western Wall, The Times of Israel reports.

    Abdul, who was raised Jewish and has recently been linked to Chabad, is arriving in...

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  • 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,...

  • Goy until proven Jewish

    October 23, 2013 | 1:10 pm

    “Who is a Jew?” is a uniquely Jewish question. It is a question that epitomizes the Jewish people and culture. It is a philosophical question that embodies the history of Jewish debate. It is a question of belonging that symbolizes Jews as a minority. It seems like a theoretical...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • A small voice with a big message

    December 7, 2011 | 3:42 pm

    Jacob Tragarz didn’t take the easy route when it came to his mitzvah project — he went big. The 12-year-old student decided to raise awareness about the suffering and violence in Darfur by organizing an assembly for nearly 700 of his peers at Marshall Fundamental High School, a...

  • Extravagant Jewish celebrations — Have we gone too far?

    July 19, 2011 | 4:32 pm

    A wedding that costs $100,000? A bar mitzvah that costs $20,000? When did extravagance and luxury become such primary Jewish values? I can’t remember the last simcha (Jewish celebration) I attended at which there were not tremendous amounts of wasted food, overly expensive napkins...

  • James Franco Q & A:  His Film on Tortured Gay Poet Hart Crane

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    June 15, 2011 | 9:48 pm

    One has to wonder when James Franco ever sleeps. Hollywood’s most educated thespian — perhaps best-known for his Oscar-nominated turn as the guy who cut off his own arm in Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” – has famously juggled acting on soap operas and in blockbusters (think Rupert...

  • Concert honors Bat Mitzvah

    By Tom Tugend

    April 12, 2011 | 5:45 pm

    It’s not every Jewish girl whose parents commission a new work by a renowned classical composer for her bat mitzvah, but then Dora Schoenberg’s lineage made a musical tribute all but mandatory.

    So when some 800 listeners gathered on April 7 at Sinai Temple for a “Community...

  • Ready for their bimah close-up [VIDEO]

    By Ryan Torok

    December 14, 2010 | 11:54 pm

    Indeed, bar or bat mitzvah training today has become increasingly reliant on technology to complement learning — from YouTube videos of kids chanting and online lessons with a cantor or tutor to on-the-go studies with an iPod. 

    Experts say new technologies can make b’nai...

  • A powerful way to make a point

    December 14, 2010 | 11:47 pm

    With apologies to Monty Python, the day can best be described as, “And Now for Something Completely Different.” The guests started filing in, anticipating the usual bar mitzvah service at our cozy little temple — maybe the only one named for a city that carries the name of a...

  • Kids helping kids

    December 14, 2010 | 11:35 pm

    Ryan Gurman and Brandon Newberg, both 13, have never met. They live in different parts of Los Angeles, go to different schools, attend different synagogues and celebrated their bar mitzvahs almost a year apart. Yet over the past few months, the young men have shared a common purpose:...

  • Inmates Celebrate B’not Mitzvah

    September 9, 2009 | 4:56 am

    Two women, identified as Carol and Pamela — not their real names — became b’not mitzvah on Saturday, Sept. 5. Both are inmates at the California Institution for Women (CIW) in Corona, located about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles. The event is believed to be the first bat...

  • Girl Doesn’t Let Pain Stand in Way of Her Bat Mitzvah

    March 18, 2009 | 3:54 am

    Preparing for a bar or bat mitzvah is time consuming. A student in the throes of becoming a teenager has to learn Torah and haftarah portions, plus required prayers and blessings. Then there’s the speech, the mitzvah project and the weekly meetings with the cantor or rabbi, or...

  • Bar and bat mitzvah projects spread tzedakah worldwide

    By Lilly Fowler

    November 19, 2008 | 12:55 am

    From an early age, Erica Kitchin loved to read. So books were an obvious choice when it came time to select a bat mitzvah project.

    "I felt that if I could give others an opportunity to read it would make their lives a lot better," said Erica, 14.

    But by "others," Erica wasn't...

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