There’s a 5x7 photo of my daughter in a frame on my bookshelf. In it, she’s smiling wide, wearing her tallit, holding the Torah, the purple streaks in her hair hanging around her face in soft…blown-out curls. It was a posed picture from her bat mitzvah three years ago, but her smile is genuine. She’s “beaming on the bimah,” my husband and I said when we got back the proofs. But the other day, as I walked by, I saw that the photo was facing the wall, instead of out.… >> Read More
At my daughter’s bat mitzvah last month, hundreds of people spread out to form a large circle and, together, carefully hold a completely unrolled Torah scroll.
With the scroll spread out so that…its entire contents were visible, my daughter found the spot on the parchment where the Torah portion corresponding to her Hebrew birthday was located. So did eight other 12- and 13-year-olds. Standing with parents at their Torah portion (helpfully indicated in advance with Post-It Notes) and going in order from Genesis to Deuteronomy, each child… >> Read More
Preparing and planning for a bar or bat mitzvah is an exciting time for both the child and the whole family. Our family has gone through the process twice and is embarking on this journey for the…third, and last, time with my son who is currently 12 years old. As a parent, it is incredible the amount of love and pride you feel watching your child shine at this significant milestone. Along with leading a service, most temples also include a mitzvah project as part of this important rite of passage.… >> Read More
One of the happiest times in my life was planning my daughter Gabrielle’s bat mitzvah. Many people find this shocking. I was a little bit shocked, myself. Planning a bar or bat mitzvah is stressful…on many levels. It is expensive and it is time consuming with numerous deadlines. But most of all, it is challenging because all of these things are happening while managing a hormonal adolescent! I knew from the start that I would love helping my daughter prepare for the service. I loved hearing Gabrielle hum her… >> Read More
Imagine a magenta-colored room with a flock of Light Up Flamingo showgirls decked in feather headdresses and pearls and enough table settings for 300 people. No, that's not a celebrity wedding, it's…a bat mitzvah. And it literally cost $1 million. Who throws that lavish of a party for a 13-year-old girl? Apparently, according to The New York Post, Hudson News mogul Jimmy Cohen does. The party took place in their Alpine, New Jersey home with the chicest theme you wish you thought of: 1960s Lily Pulitzer.… >> Read More