FINDING YOUR OWN BMBFF: BAR MITZVAH BEST FRIEND FOREVER
By Dr. and Mrs. Mitzvah (aka David and Danielle Ockman “Favor It Things“)
This B’mitzvah story starts out like most everyone’s story… couple has a son, boy needs a B’mitzvah, couple panics for 3 years trying to figure out how to make the event and pay for it!
Our story takes a turn though, and this clinical psychologist and social worker found ways to cope and “de-stress” using our B’mitzvah planning as “therapy.”
It all started over a year ago. We turned to Mitzvah Market to get ideas and found a plethora of information and were put on the right track. We started a Facebook page for just some of our friends. They joined and we shared B’mitzvah questions, thoughts and stress. Friends of friends started to join and then vendors “jumped on the bandwagon.” Having Mitzvah Market and then our local Facebook page lead to a sense of support and camaraderie that was unexpected, became invaluable to our planning and has boosted our knowledge about all aspects of B’mitzvah. Rabbis and Cantors are there to answer religious questions, vendors of every type help with the B’mitzvah party questions and the B’mitzvah parents are partners in support (and readily give their opinions).
For 20 years we have been encouraging patients, clients and students to partake in social support to cope with fear, anxiety and isolation. Now here we are, “practicing what we preached.” We were no longer alone—hundreds of people wanting to make the best spiritual experience and celebration for their beloved children were with us. Some had “a lot more” and some had “a lot less,” but there we are all together. We had an unplanned social support network, this is where our story took a different turn and lead us to the most “stress free” B’mitzvah planning EVER.
We guess that no solution is ever 100% fool proof. There was one strange “con” to this super support group.
Many who joined the group thought that we were B’mitzvah experts or planners, which we are NOT!
We have ended up fielding questions that were technical and some vendors thought we were their competition, which we are also not!
Once some of their misconceptions were clarified, we really found a way to be one big happy family.
The Ockmans with their daughter Skylar and son Blake
Photo Credit: Debby Gans Photography
Our group became our “hobby on steroids” and has been a major stress reliever, LIVE B’mitzvah chat 24-7!
We have made friends that we will have for a lifetime through our B’mitzah journey and we will mention them in future entries as they have taught us so much.
We won’t lie, some unofficial therapy sessions are needed on occasion for our B’mitzvah parent friends. As they say—“helping others is the best way to help yourself!”
We have earned the new titles of “Dr. Mitzvah” and “BMBFF” lol —Ricia Lesk coined this term, Bar Mitzvah Best Friend Forever. A BMBFF is a new friendship you have made to “get through the B’mitzvah planning” because no one in your every day life could take listening or talking about it anymore!
We are 168 days away from Blake’s B’mitzvah according to the “D Day” iphone application we have on our iPhones (highly recommend using this application).
So what did we do first? We searched for our venue.
We love Hotel venues and searched all hotels in our vicinity and found the grand foyer and ballroom we wanted.
Hotels make us feel like we are on vacation and most of them offer a “suite for the family” on the night of the affair. Our “out of town” and local guests have the option to stay over and join in the “after party.”
And more time can be spent with people who made the trip from far away. Our local DoubleTree by Hilton Deerfield Beach in Boca Raton was chosen and Michelle Brooks has taken care of us ever since.
She was the beginning of what we believe will be a B’mitzvah dream team. Blake started his lessons this month at Temple Beth Am of Margate and everything is on track.
By the way, what is our group motto? “Good Luck is the result of good planning” and those are words we will live and report by. We love that our support has just gone national, thanks to our blog series on Mitzvah Market!
Next time we hope to share more about the ways that we are keeping our stress low and making the most of our new B’mitzvah friends, and hope that you reach out to those planning around you and get your own “BMBFFs!”
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!