“Mazel Tov”- Philly Planner’s blast from the past: Mitzvah Mania

Tradition, Tradition!

The Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony is a Jewish tradition passed on from generation to generation.  The rite of passage celebrates the beginning of the transition to adulthood.  But after months of preparation for this special day what better way to wind down and truly celebrate than a HUGE party with all of one’ s nearest and dearest!

Now, the party is not complete without your 13 year olds’ wonderfully carried out theme.  The theme is the perfect way for the bar/bat mitzvah boy/girl to express their creativity and passion!  My passion at the age of 13? PINK! I loved the color and everything that went along with it.  From the pink and black table linens and the pink and white balloons decorating the entire room to my pink ball gown, made to mine (and my mother’s) every specifications, everything had to be in order for this special day!  As a side note, sometimes having the bat mitzvah dress made can be a great solution if you and your daughter can’t find the right dress.  For my thirteen year old self I had to have a beautiful pink dress with as much “poof” in it as I could have, and for my mother, the perfect fabric.  Having a dress made can also end up costing way less than shopping at a boutique; just bring in a style or pictures of a dress your daughter may have tried on already and the material you would like to use and voila! The perfect bat mitzvah dress!

The Perfect PINK Dress!

The party itself is full of its own traditions that will hopefully never get old.  We all know the usuals of a fabulous event; cocktail hour, the speech, dinner, dancing and dessert, but what we must not forgot are the true bar/bat mitzvah party traditions! The perfect DJ knows EXACTLY what is expected of him.. the classic games, the wonderful prizes, and all those classic line dances.  Whether they’re hula hooping as fast as they can, playing the ultimate game: COKE & PEPSI, or dancing to “cotton eye Joe”, this fantastic time is also when the adults can relax, have a drink and enjoy a conversation while the kids are going crazy on the dance floor.  For those of you who are not familiar with the game Coke and Pepsi here is a brief summary… Each contestant chooses a partner and stands directly across from them on opposite sides of the dance floor.  One side is named Coke, the other Pepsi.  When the MC announces “Coke” the players on the Coke side must run to their partner’s side as fast as they can in order to not be eliminated, and vice versa for the Pepsi side. The MC can also announce 7UP, Dr. Pepper, etc. that require the players to either switch sides, freeze, or run in the middle and do a quick dance, whatever the MC announces as his/her rules.  Each round the slowest pair is eliminated until there is one team left standing, and hey it doesn’t hurt if your partner is the bar/bat mitzvah kid.  This might be a silly game but you have to play it to understand its glory.

View of the Room at the Mansion

Now of course it is not a true bar mitzvah without the candle lighting ceremony, in which the bar/bat mitzvah kid honors guests from near and far by calling them up to light one of the thirteen candles on the cake.  It is important for them to show their gratitude to their family and friends who were there to support along the way, as well as to remember those who were not able to be there on this special day.

Candle Lighting Ceremony

We also must not forget to include the awkward boy-girl slow dances or dancing the more traditional Jewish dance, known as the horah with your family, and handing out the best party favors (tshirts, scrubs).  For my bat mitzvah I gave out blue flannel boxer shorts with the logo “I danced the night away at Arielle’s Bat Mitzvah”. And finally, as the movie Keeping Up with the Steins teaches us, we simply have to outdo the bar mitzvah the week before.

All in all it wouldn’t be a classic bar/bat mitzvah without all of these wonderful traditions that you expect to have, so why not let us help you!

Arielle Shemesh