Monday, August 15, 2005

some pictures from Max's bar mitzvah

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The end of the non-traditional bar mitzvah

It's Sunday evening and it's over. We had a small group for shabbat dinner Friday night and Max lead prayers very well. We quized him on his torah portion, the content and meaning. Saturday dawned and we finished up a few things then headed to the hotel pool for a swim and lunch. I brought meat, cheese, pita bread and chips. The kids swam and played and then we came home to pack up the party and take it to Lichterman nature center. My parents, Daddy Rick, Uncle Mikey, Ron, Alex and our family decorated all the tables, plated all the food and loaded in all the supplies. We come home and Max picked a wicked fight with his brother, disolved into hysterical tears and said he was going to his room and not coming out "until tomorrow". This is par for the bar mitzvah course and I'd prepped everyone that it would probably happen so we gave him some time while I whipped up a batch of vanilla buttercreme frosting for his cake. I got him out of his room to frost the cake itself and then we all got dressed and headed out. Our guests arrived and grabbed a drink and a tiny nosh (vegetables and garlic dip, brie, crackers and grapes) then Max lead everyone in Havdalah. The ceremony was short and aside from not speaking loud enough, he did well. Thanks to Michelle Olson for taking the pictures. William announced the menu and everyone headed to the buffet tables.

Menu: Baby Bam Burgers (from There's a chef in my soup)
mini "pigs in blankets"
potato salad, cole slaw (thanks Lance), fruit salad (thanks Dodie), black bean salad (thanks Mikey), pasta salad, Israeli salad, chips and salsa (Thanks Molly's La Casita) and potato chips and dip (thanks again Lance)

Later we sang happy birthday to the 13 year old bar mitzvah boy. He made "his" chocolate fudge cake with vanilla buttercreme and chocolate ganash, William made a blueberry pie, we also made key-lime bars, Angel food cake (thanks Connie), various tarts (thanks again Lance!)

The kids played Dance nation or something like that (thanks Aunt Laura!) while the adults chatted and continued to nosh. Daddy Rick manned the bar where we served Suave Bolla and Cabernet Savignon, koolaid juice punch, bottled water and coffee.

The entire food bill was $400
Facility rental $500
invitations $60
ink cartridges $40
postage $50
decorations, table cloths, center pieces $120
serving pieces, plates, cups, silverware $80
wine $180
juice, water $?
lunch for out of town guests Saturday $40
dinner at Ethiopian restaurant Friday night $80
brunch Sunday morning at our house for out of town guests including champagne $50

so there it is. If you are interested in any recipes, actual invitations, thanks you notes, RSVP cards or ceremony files, email me and I'll happily share with you. A non-traditional bar mitzvah is really fairly easy to do if you give yourself enough time and utilize all the help you can get. I built Max's ceremony from ceremonies two rabbi's shared with us. You can do this too. Max's non-traditional bar mitzvah was meaningful to him, connected him to his eclectic heritage and his Jewish religion. It was accessible to all our guests and manageable for our family. We left this bar mitzvah without debt or huge financial sacrifice. I encourage ALL Jewish families to seriously discuss the bar mitzvah with their child and build from the bottom up. After all, tailored clothing fits so much better than off the rack!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Tick, tock, watch the clock!

It's count down time! Since I'm doing everything for this bar mitzvah, it's easy to get overwhelmed, but I'm trying to stay focused and keep it simple. All volunteer activities have been curtailed for the last 2 weeks as we slowly gear up to the big event. I'm working on a simple guest sign-in or memory book and each day there are a few more things to do. Today is hair cut day for all of us and tomorrow the big cooking begins. A zillion small hamburgers will be made and stored plus some cute little hot dogs. Remember, it's a camping theme! See you there or you can check back on this blog for the specifics once it's all over. I'll post how I did it, actual budget and how it all turned out. I have to do this all over in 2 years for son #2!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

weekend plans

If you're coming from out of town, you've hopefully gotten an email about hotel information. If not, here's a link for some prices on our preferred hotel. This is a very basic hotel, but close to the house so you won't get lost. The Saturday party, however, is quite a drive (20 mins) away.
If you have not RSVP'd for the event, please do so TODAY! We're looking forward to seeing you and hope you enjoy our casual, friends-and-family-centered celebration. Rumor has it Aunt Laura is going to bring her dance game x-box (did I get that right) and the kids can take turns dancing! Remember these festitivies are casual. Wear your khaki's and a comfy shirt, throw on a casual summer dress and relax. We're gathering to mark Max's transition from child to youth, no tie required, and we just might ask you to help clean up at the end of the festitivities!