On April 30, 2011 the Halperin family held their son Benjamin’s Bar Mitzvah service at B’nai Israel Congregation in Rockville, Maryland. Hours later his celebration continued at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Although this sounds very much like the start of all our Mitzvah Family Spotlight stories, it is like no other we have reported on before.
We were hanging on every word Mitzvah Mom Judi told us about what happened hours prior to her son Ben’s Bar Mitzvah service. Please continue reading to learn more…
Pictured L-R: Sister Meredith, Dad Ken, Mom Judi and Bar Mitzvah boy Benjamin.
Imagine this: You are expecting 70 guests who have traveled from out of town for a Friday night Oneg dinner and a full weekend of activities, then the unexpected happens. Here is what Mom Judi told us:
“At 5pm Friday night, my son Ben had an emergency appendectomy. He was released from the hospital at 7am, went home, showered, and then off to shul where he was flawless…speech and everything! He made it to his party, even his wonderful surgeon, Dr. Marmom came to offer his support. Although he couldn’t dance much, he still had a blast.” She goes on to explain, “All 170 guests at the Bar Mitzvah were in awe! If you can imagine (in a conservative shul) when the Rabbi introduced Ben to give his speech, all 500 congregants and guests clapped – it was really a moment. Although much of the weekend was a blur due to Ben’s appendectomy, he has received so much praise for how he handled this situation. His poise on the bimah, can-do attitude and sense of humor. We are so proud of his accomplishment. As a friend put it…’It was a humbling experience for our family, friends and the congregation to witness his grit and performance first hand.'”
We had to share some pictures from this courageous Bar Mitzvah boy’s celebration!
This celebration didn’t have any particular theme, but the party was based on Ben and his favorite color blue.
Place cards with customized clips by farfromboringpromotions.com
Ben makes his entrance on the shoulders of the Washington Talent staff. Mom Judi tells us that MC Fresh handled Ben with such care and concern to make sure he got the most out of his special day
Ben’s friends get in on the action
Perfect Party created two logos for Ben’s celebration that were used in different ways.
Ben loves Root Beer! So the above Root Beer logo was on the shirts and on cups. For dessert, the kids were given a cup with the logo that had vanilla ice cream and an individual can of Barq’s Root Beer. This logo was also on a sticker for the kids shirt bags and on the menu cards and table numbers for the kids
Ben’s favor bag
The adult table numbers and menus featured the above logo, Ben 4.30.11 and was also used as a gobo on the wall
We love this idea! Mom Judi purchased a tallis bag and materials and had family members each take a turn with a few stitches (or more). Aunts, cousins (1st, 2nd and 3rd), Ben’s Nana, a few friends as well as Ken, Meredith and Ben himself! Judi did 95% of the bag and then had it finished with a very special message from her which was embroidered on the inside. She included a note on the inside with the names of everyone who participated.
For Ben’s Mitzvah Project, he decided to support the Edeyo Foundation, a non-profit organization that built a school in Haiti prior to the earthquake, but is now in rebuilding mode. He has raised over $2500 for Edeyo and sent 10 large boxes of school supplies and backpacks to them. He did this by holding a supply drive at his sister Meredith’s Elementary School over the winter break. Last summer, they honored Benjamin at their 3rd anniversary party for his efforts as a young boy who wanted to make a difference. Ben was picked up from sleepaway camp for a 24 hour period of time so he could be driven to NYC for the event. He was presented his humanitarian award by actress Michele Rodriguez.
Ben with all the school supplies he had collected for donation
The Halperin family gave out bags of “blue” cotton candy with a label that said, “We’re BLUE this day is through…thank you for joining us!”
The following vendors made Ben’s day special. If you give any of them a call, please tell them you learned about their services on MitzvahMarket.com.
Venue: Maggiano’s Little Italy, 202-966-3108
Party Planner: Rochelle Iserson, 240-605-2206
Photographer/Videographer: AHAVA Photography 410-415-0876
Music Entertainment: Washington Talent, DJ/MC: FRESH with SoFRESH Entertainment, 301-762-1800
Favors: t-shirts/flashlights/place cards (clips), Farfromboring Promotions.com, Lincoln Kiem 561-999-9097
Photo Booth: Majectic Photo Booth
Magician: Josh Norris (Washington Talent) 301-762-1800
Invitations: RSVP Invitations, Robyn Feinberg 770-351-9556
Logos: Party Perfect: Laura@partyperfectorlando.com
Décor/florist: DaVinci’s Florist/Lighting 301-588-8900
Bus For Young Guests: Coughlin Inc: 301- 977-8500
Hotel For Out Of Town Guests: Homewood Suites/Hilton Garden Inn Shady Grove: 240-507-1800
Party Security: Larry Yates/Diverse Services: 301-412-0376
Video Montage: Fine Productions 770-399-0800
Calligraphy: SpritesInk, Lisa Sprites 301-916-6870
Menu Cards/Table Numbers/Stickers: Presentech 404-745-9595, 800-436-9335
Any special touches: Gift boxes included all items that were from Maryland—cookies, candies, nuts, Old Bay flavored chips, Maryland playing cards and water bottles with Ben’s logo. A big sticker on the front said, “Welcome to Ben’s Bar Mitzvah Weekend.”