As you are planning your own child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah, it’s only natural to think back when you were 13 years old and were going through the same rite of passage. Were you calm, nervous? Do you still remember your torah portion?
Was your celebration in the afternoon, night? At a Temple or club? Did you have a theme?
We thought it might be fun to have a “Bar Bat Mitzvah Throw Back” with our Mitzvah Market readers and vendors.
Please email us your Bar or Bat Mitzvah picture and we will add it to our story below and/or you can upload them to our Facebook fan page here. Please also share any memories from your Bar or Bat Mitzvah service/celebration.
David Greenhill standing in from of his sign-in board at his Bar Mitzvah in 1985
Gili Warsett shared her funny “peace” themed Bat Mitzvah with www.kveller.com
Cheryl Block, circa 1980 at Temple Beth Torah, Philadelphia, PA
“Pictured above are my brothers and sisters at my brother Paul’s Bar Mitzvah in 1972. He’s the tallest on the right. I’m the cute girl in the middle and almost 2 years old. I don’t personally have any memories because I think I went to sleep in my stroller shortly after this picture. The affair was at Temple Shaare Zion in Brooklyn. My mother chose this venue because it was the most beautiful synagogue she knew of in Brooklyn. She had the service and kiddush luncheon the week before at our local synagogue. Then a week later, the Saturday evening celebration with a fabulous candy cart and his theme was sports related. The gowns were purchased at Lester’s in Brooklyn. At that time, Lester’s sold gowns. They were hanging from almost the ceiling of the store.” — Reader Stephanie Masheb
TV Executive Jeff Zucker is featured in Jill Rappaport’s book, Mazel Tov: Celebrities’ Bar and Bat Mitzvah Memories. He says, “I have vivid memories of my Bar Mitzvah. I remember that I wasn’t at all intimidated by being in front of people, or scared of it. I enjoyed it. I assumed that’s what you did and that it was a normal way you have a Bar Mitzvah. It was a good experience. You know, my Mom planned the whole thing. It probably took a year to do that. I was happy with it, the service and the party. And I remember the party was afterward at the Starlight Roof of the Doral Hotel in Miami Beach.”
Melissa Schorr, author of Goy Crazy celebrated her Bat Mitzvah in 1985 in Riverdale, New York and at Tardi’s in the Bronx. She remembers, “I was determined to wear white, like my cool older cousin had for her Bat Mitzvah earlier that year, so here is the sad style result: I look like a lace doily. My main memory of that day: having a big zit on my cheek that was immune to any cover-up make-up we tried. The horror! My mother ended up having the photographer air brush it out of the final pictures”
Kids Mitzvah style then and now! On the left is Sheri Lapidus, founder of MitzvahMarket.com in a cranberry corderoy vest and skirt standing with her friend Randi Goldstricker on our way to a Bar or Bat Mitzvah in 1977. On the right, today’s 13 year olds going to a Mitzvah celebration! (L-R) Cassandra Heah, Carly Lapidus and Samara Chafitz. Oh how styles have changed!
Adam Cohen on his Bar Mitzvah day. Here is his memory, “What was the deal with Cross pen and pencil sets? Why do you need to give a 13 year old a pen and a pencil? I also remember some of the kids flipping butter from the forks onto the ceiling and the parents were not happy, but all and all I remember it being an amazing day!”
Marty Wohl’s Bar Mitzvah was in 1951 and he remembers being scared to death until those first words came out of his mouth!
Advertising guru and TV host Donny Deutsch celebrated his Bar Mitzvah in Queens in November, 1970. See more celebrity Bar/Bat Mitzvah pictures in Jill Rappaport’s book, Mazel Tov: Celebrities’ Bar and Bat Mitzvah Memories
Mike Greenspan remembers having far less kids at his Bar Mitzvah celebration than what his kids recently had at theirs!
Steven Gordon’s Mom remembers: My son’s Bar Mitvah was on a Sunday afternoon at Leonard’s in Great Neck. The suits were rented tuxedo’s. We didn’t want black and the tuxedo place in Bayside thought this was a good alternative. What did we know?! We had lots of fun. Viennese tables were all the rage, wheeled in after the dinner with great fanfare
Faron Greenfield from Low Schmaltz remembers, “While I wore the traditional suit and tie for the ceremony seen here, the party outfit was a Miami vice inspired pastel-colored suit, complete with the jacked sleeves pushed up. The evening’s entertainment was delivered by breakdancers and a DJ – who I still think has one of the best monikers for a Bar Mitzvah circuit DJ that I’ve ever heard – The Black Rabbi”
Gary Lustberg in front of his sign-in board at The Sands in Lido Beach tells us he doesn’t remember much of anything from his special day!
Roy Lapidus in his crushed blue velvet suit celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at Leonard’s in Great Neck on Halloween and remembers worrying about being egged!
Please email your picture to info@MitzvahMarket.com and let us know if you have any questions.