The Surprise Bar Mitzvah: #andrewfest

During the summer of 2014, Andrew Khafif and his family were all set to travel to Israel to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah when their plans suddenly changed. Two weeks before their scheduled trip, they made the difficult decision to cancel due to unrest in the area.

Mom Leslie quickly shifted gears and within days had a 3 week trip planned to Italy instead. As an added bonus, they were able to see family they had never met who helped Andrew celebrate a Kosher style Bar Mitzvah Italian style!

Although Andrew called their Italy trip, “an event of a lifetime,” he mentioned to his Mom that he missed their special Mother/Son dance and hearing his Dad’s speech. This stuck with Leslie, who is part of a big family. When she realized that Passover is the one time during the year this large extended family gets together, the wheels were set in motion.

With family members calling her crazy, she set out to surprise Andrew with a Bar Mitzvah in the backyard during Passover. No one could believe what she pulled off.

We are excited to share this surprise Bar Mitzvah celebration with our readers!

Pictured above L-R: Brother Theo, brother Sammy, Dad Albert, Mom Leslie, Sister Emma, Bar Mitzvah boy Andrew




During their trip to Italy, the family all wore matching t-shirts in honor of Andrew’s Bar Mitzvah.






With family enjoying an annual traditional seder inside, a tent was waiting in the backyard for the fun to begin.







Three variations of an invitation were sent to family and friends. Those invited to Leslie’s usual Seder were asked to wear jeans and a white long sleeve shirt. Andrew was told that his Uncle and cousin, who led the service, thought it would be fun to have everyone wearing the same thing.

Andrew’s Uncle and cousin lead the service

Notice everyone in their white shirts!




As the Seder was ending (and guests were arriving outside), the young cousins took Andrew to the basement to look for the afikomen.


Guests were waiting for Andrew’s arrival dressed in their #andrewfest t-shirts

Blindfolded, Andrew enters the tent for his big surprise!

It worked and he was shocked!!!




Once Andrew arrived, the fun began with MC Deano.



All guests got into the action!


Deano performs!


There were blackjack tables


Andrew with his MC and dancers all in #andrewfest shirts


Up in the chair for the Horah



Guests looked on as Andrew got his two special moments.



His Mother/Son dance with Mom Leslie



His Dad’s speech




Everyone loved the food from Miraj Healthy Grill.



Mom Leslie also created a candy bar




Andrew got another surprise when his cake was cut. It was a Mazipan cake which is his favorite!



The cake was from Spiga Bakery







Mom Leslie got creative since this celebration was during Passover.



One of the owners of Streits Matzo provided matzo & matzo boxes


A duffle bag, with the logo “Always Killin It” was inside the Matzo boxes




The following vendors helped to make Andrew’s surprise Bar Mitzvah a huge success. If you give any a call, please let them know you read about their services on

Music Entertainment/Photography/Tent: PartyGroove NYC, Deano Tracey, 516-782-2549
Food: Miraj Healthy Grill, 516-747-3181
Favors: Susan Gordon, And That, 516-567-7645
Cake: Spiga Bakery, 516-218-3242


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