FIVE PERSONAL BAR MITZVAH TOUCHES
By Dr. and Mrs. Mitzvah (aka David and Danielle Ockman, “Favor It Things“)
Ok…We are getting down to the wire and our invitations have gone out and many responses are rolling in. We are planning a formal reception and people asked what the “dress code” would be. Our invites say, “red carpet attire” and we are planning to honor our son as “star for the night.”
As mental health professionals and parents, we have made a concerted effort to have our children understand the community and their roles as part of a society. We have imparted rules and compassion in our kids in hopes that they will be ready to be successful parts of the much larger communities. Although young, they are learning that whether in school, temple, or in their neighborhood they must be concerned with all members. However, with this in mind…there are times when it is “ok” for our children to be allowed to “shine.” The B’mitzvah is a time to celebrate this one child and stress their individual qualities and accomplishments. So, with just a month left, we finalized ways to highlight and personalize our Blake’s B’mitzvah.
We tried to find a few personal touches and it has been fun. We will share 5 of the ways we loved doing this.
1. Until we heard of Ann McKay we never realized how personal touches on our Judaica could make our B’mitzvah event so special. She created a “challah cover” that heightened our B’mitzvah theme and had our son’s haf torah portion embroidered onto it. It will be used at the reception for the all important “motzi.” It will also be a keepsake for many Sabbath dinners to come in our home and in his (in the future). We also loved finding the perfect “yad” for him to use during his torah reading. Engraving his Hebrew name onto it and making it personal will be a way to remember all of the details that were thought about for him on this milestone.
2. Including a most important family member(s) is another way we want to make this day personal. Even though most “party professionals” warn against slowing down the celebration momentum, we are taking pride in the moment when Blake’s “great grandparents,” Stanley and Evelyn Wissner say some very special words about the boy they have loved so much for 13 years! At the ages of 91 and 90, they wrote their own words and have even injected some humor. Together, they are placing the tallit around him which is a personal moment that will mean the world to us all as our “family history and future” stand and honor each other.
Stanley and Evelyn Wissner
3. What about the cake!? (as they say in “The Mitzvah Song”)
We chose to do a B’mitzvah cake in our theme even though there are other desserts to be served. Many have questioned the necessity of a cake, but we see it as “edible décor.” Our cake company, Dona Doce’ will be making a custom cake topper out of “cold porcelain.” The cake topper is a caricature statue of the B’mitzvah child! We simply provide a picture of Blake to them and they create the fun statue in his likeness. Another momento that will last for years to come and this is sure to give us a few smiles.
Cake topper work of Dona Doce’
4. Creating a menu for each adult is somewhat common place but we personalized it by adding a warm heartfelt message from Blake on the back. We hope our guests know how much they are appreciated as a part of Blake’s life.
5. Lastly, leave it to Mrs. Mitzvah to bring the personalized touches to life in pure chocolate! Edible images of our Blake and his B’mitzvah logo in sugar will be aplenty. They will make their appearances attached to place cards, on a candy buffet, and at each adult place setting. The custom specialty of “FAVOR IT THINGS” is the elegant chocolate picture frame with edible images of the guest of honor affixed in the middle. These are an “eye catcher.” Most people respond by saying that “…they are too pretty to eat,” but somehow they seem to manage! Edible images combined with chocolate are just one more way to spot light our star.
Examples of Favor It Things edible frames
We are now receiving B’mitzvah invites by the truck load. It has been a slide show of personalized stamps and fun to watch. We couldn’t resist putting our son’s face in the upper right hand corner too, thanks to “stamps.com.”
Our B’mitzvah event is almost here. Next time we will use this wonderful blogging opportunity from “Mitzvah Market” to have an after party recap with pictures and “let the credits roll.”
ABOUT DAVID AND DANIELLE OCKMAN
David and Danielle Ockman love South Florida and reside in Deerfield Beach with their 12 year old son Blake, and 7 year old daughter, Skylar. Blake’s B’mitzvah is scheduled for October, 2014.
David is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in the field of addictions for over 20 years and Danielle is a Social Worker and the Dean of Students at a private Jewish Day School. Danielle’s passion for making people treats lead her to preparing “specialty and custom” chocolate and edible B’mitzvah favors for “Favor It Things.” David and Danielle have become known in the B’mitzvah community of South Florida, as they host the Facebook group, “South Florida Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah Planning Group.” Some consider this group to be the B’mitzvah hub, bringing parents and vendors together for a “virtual B’mitzvah showcase” everyday. Since starting the FB page, David has been called “Dr. Mitzvah” and the couple continue to talk many B’mitzah parents down off the ledge!
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