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Nov 11 2013

Everything You Need for Your 2013 Hanukkah Party

By at 5:02 pm

Throwing a Hanukkah party? Well, we have the party favors and gifts you’ll need to have one gelty rager!

1. Hanukkah cookie cutters ($5.39) Break out the rolling pins and sprinkles. These large cookie cutters will make some seriously delicious dreidel and Jewish star-shaped cookies!


2. Elope Menorah Glasses ($9.99) Usually you seem like you’re hiding a black eye or avoiding eye contact when wearing sunglasses inside–but these will be fun to wear around the house and you’ll get great photos of your kids modeling them. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 24 2013

The Bar Mitzvah Diary: How I Prepared for My Son’s Big Day

By at 9:43 am

sharon clark bar mitzvah diary

We recently held my older son’s bar mitzvah. I had heard many stories about all the pitfalls of these events–which are really supposed to be focused on the meaningfulness for the young people involved– but assumed I would get around them and plan an event that would be successful and well-organized, without much of the tsuris that other families seem to have to deal with. I am an executive in the government, after all, accustomed to dealing with a wide range of stakeholders, conflicting priorities, and tight timelines.

Boy, was I wrong. Events conspired to bring me to a near state of panic, and my only way of coping was to start keeping this blog. In the end, humor saved the day. So enjoy.

November 2012: T-9 months

– Established bar mitzvah budget. Figured we should have no problem staying on budget. I’m an auditor, after all.

– Called local Museum to book room for Saturday night party. Museum tells me for my budget, I can order pizza from their cafeteria. Called Delta Hotel.

December 2012: T-8 months

– Delta tells me (more politely than the Museum) that they can’t do it for my budget.

January 2013: T-7 months

– Booked party room at City Hall. Room is good price and we can bring in our own caterer and buy our own booze. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 10 2013

How to Throw a Bargain Bat Mitzvah

By at 5:00 pm

trapeze artists

My daughter studied Hebrew for four years, giving up free time after school and many weekend slumber parties in pursuit of Jewish knowledge. After all that effort, she wanted a fabulous party to mark the occasion of finally being called to the bimah as a bat mitzvah.

And I wanted to give her one. She’d worked hard for it. But I didn’t have a savings account marked “bat mitzvah” set aside, nor did I have tens of thousands of dollars open on credit cards. I’m sure that many parents must save for this from the moment they get a positive pregnancy test, but I was a very young parent, a single one until she was in elementary school, and for most of her life I had been struggling to finish college and pay the bills. I wanted my daughter to have a Jewish education. But I couldn’t take out a mortgage to do it.

I was supposed to be excited about this milestone, but as it drew ever closer, all I felt was dread. It became a chore, an obligation, a source of massive anxiety, not a joy. I wanted nothing to do with the words “bat mitzvah” anymore. And that broke my heart. Read the rest of this entry →


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