MitzvahMarket | Author Archives
The Ultimate Bar/Bar Mitzvah Cakes from Sugar Hi Armonk
July 6th, 2022

The Ultimate Bar/Bar Mitzvah Cakes from Sugar Hi Armonk

The Ultimate Bar/Bar Mitzvah Cakes from Sugar Hi Armonk

There are so many elements that go into planning the perfect bar/bat mitzvah. One that definitely takes time is finding the perfect bar/bat mitzvah cake. We spoke with Hillary Assael, co-founder of the popular Sugar Hi Armonk about how to find the ultimate bar/bat mitzvah cake. Be sure to also check out their collection of drool-worthy cakes for your child’s bar/bat mitzvah as well as any special occasion.

The Ultimate Bar/Bar Mitzvah Cakes from Sugar Hi Armonk

Mitzvah Market: Tell us more about the process of creating a custom bar/bat mitzvah cake?

Sugar Hi Armonk: When clients are in need of a special cake, we first ask them the theme, or colors…perhaps there is a logo. We also like to get a sense of what the cake is being used for (ie. a candle lighting?) and also understand the venue. Customers will often tell you it is just to sing Happy Birthday, so it doesn’t need to be big.

Even large cakes can look tiny in a very large room, so we try to take all that into account. That is what usually inspires the design of the cake (budget and number of guests as well) Sometimes people really have no idea what they want, so we start by looking at previous designs, just to get a sense of their aesthetic, then we go from there!

Mitzvah Market: What are some designs for bar/bat mitzvahs you’ve done in the past?

Sugar Hi Armonk: I’ve been making custom cakes for 20 years, so I have really done it all! The most challenging was a torso and helmet of a football player!

The Ultimate Bar/Bar Mitzvah Cakes from Sugar Hi Armonk

Mitzvah Market: Tell us about your signature cakes and if people use them for a bar/bat mitzvah?

Sugar Hi Armonk: Clients use our signature cakes for bar/bat mitzvah cakes all the time. They are really fun, especially when they have multiple tiers. Since you are not reinventing the wheel, they are a more affordable option than a custom fondant cake, and they still look really special. We often customize the colors of the cakes and add the logo, which gives it a more custom feel (plus, they taste delicious)!

Mitzvah Market: What was the craziest bar/bat mitzvah cake you’ve made?

Sugar Hi Armonk: I think the craziest bat mitzvah cake I ever made was for my daughter! It had to be super special…and it was!

The Ultimate Bar/Bar Mitzvah Cakes from Sugar Hi Armonk

Mitzvah Market: Anything else to add about your bar/bat mitzvah cakes?

Sugar Hi Armonk: There are several things you should ask your baker and know before ordering a bar/bat mitzvah cake:

  • Can you trust the people you are ordering from?
  • Did the baker come recommended? How long have they been making cakes? Do the cakes actually taste good?
  • If the answers to the above are “yes,” then listen to them! They will tell you what they are good at and what will work best.
  • Be sure to have a realistic sense of your budget. If the cake looks very detailed, special, and “wow,” this will be reflected in the price tag. Respect the work and time of the artist.
  • If you really have no sense of what cakes cost, then at least have a number in mind that you don’t want to go higher than. This will save everybody’s time. A reputable place is happy to work within a reasonable budget, and they will guide you.
  • While it is helpful to be specific about what you’d like, give some artistic license to the cake decorator. They know what they can do best, and your cake will turn out looking fantastic!

As you can see, finding the perfect bar/bat mitzvah cake starts with a plan, much like the plan you will need to figure out the theme, venue, invitations, etc. Do your research, take time, and enjoy some of the samples along the way. 

Interview with Essie Cohen Makeup on the Perfect Bat Mitzvah Makeup
June 28th, 2022

Interview with Essie Cohen Makeup on the Perfect Bat Mitzvah Makeup

Interview with Essie Cohen Makeup on Bat Mitzvah Makeup

While finding the perfect bat mitzvah dress is crucial for any teens’ big day, so is ensuring that they have the right bat mitzvah makeup . This not only fits in with the aesthetic/tone of their look/party, but also allows them to shine and feel incredible during the special day.

To learn more about bat mitzvah makeup, we spoke with Westchester-based makeup artist, Essie Cohen Makeup about how they work with clients to create incredible bat mitzvah looks. Read on for more:

Essie Cohen Makeup

Photo provided by Essie Cohen Makeup

Mitzvah Market: Tell us about your makeup services for bar/bat mitzvahs?

Essie Cohen: We offer makeup services for the family and the Mitzvah girl during this special occasion.

Mitzvah Market:How do you determine a look for a bar/bat mitzvah client?

Essie Cohen: I would say the look is a collaborative effort, between making sure it’s a level of makeup the parents feel comfortable wearing, the Mitzvah girls vibe, dress and style. We also ask for inspiration pics as well. We always caution using social media or Pinterest as many of them are highly altered and unnatural.

Mitzvah Market: What is different about your aesthetic?

Essie Cohen: We specialize in natural beauty enhancement. We want you to feel the best version of yourself.

Bar Mitzvah Makeup

Photo provided by Essie Cohen Makeup

Mitzvah Market:What are some of your favorite bat mitzvah looks you’ve created?

Essie Cohen: The best ones have a little sparkle great skin and the smile that makes me know they’re in love with how they look and feel.

Mitzvah Market:What are your trials and what’s involved?

Essie Cohen: We look at trials as a test run so everyone has the right expectations and the day of runs smoothly.All of my trails are held at our studio in Katonah, NY. However, my team and I do travel for an additional fee. We also include individual lash application as a part of our trial service.

Mitzvah Market: Anything else to add?

Essie Cohen: Trust vendors that they know their process regarding timing and creating the vision you’re looking for. Enjoy the day, relax and don’t stress!

Learn more about Essie and her services at You can also find her on Facebook at Essie Cohen Makeup Artist or IG at @essiecohenmakeup.

9 Bar and Bat Mitzvah Gift Ideas
June 24th, 2022

9 Bar and Bat Mitzvah Gift Ideas

9 Bar and Bat Mitzvah Gift Ideas

Getting invited to a bar or a bat mitzvah is a big deal! After the excitement of this special invitation, you’ll have to figure out your bar and bat mitzvah gift. Sometimes they might be a friend you know really well, or they might be a classmate you don’t know personally. Either way getting a meaningful gift is a great way to celebrate this tradition and pass along something special to your guest. Here are some bar and bat mitzvah ideas on what to give on this very special day.

  1. Cash: Everyone loves to receive cash and getting money on a bar or a bat mitzvah is no different. If you don’t know the host that well, start in the $20-$40 range; however, close family members might give anywhere between $150-$200. You can also gift in increments of $18, which reflects to “chai” in Jewish tradition. Add the cash in a card with a meaningful message for the perfect gift
  2. Gift cards: Another option is to give gift cards. This can be to their favorite store, restaurant, or to an experience you know they’ll love. This can also start in $18 increments or you can gift them a card in a rounded number.
  3. Donation to a charitable cause: Another way to give a monetary value is to donate to a Jewish cause in their name. This can be something that they support or are interested in. You can also tell them that you will donate a certain amount in their name if they pick a charitable cause that is important to them. Place the donation in a traditional tzedakah box for a complete meaningful gift.
  4. Jewelry: A special piece of jewelry is a special gift for any bar or a bat mitzvah. This can be a ring, charm, pendant, necklace or bracelet with Jewish symbols such as the tree or life or the Star of David. Symbolic jewerly is also a great way for the host to always remember their special day.
  5. Framed photo: Give the host a special framed photo of an experience or moment from the past. These are especially fun from family members where you can print out a collection of memories/photos into an album. Other ideas include using a service to add their picture to a mug, t-shirt, notebook, and more.
  6. Judaica gifts: Give a traditional Judaica gift to the host to symbolize the significance of this special day. This can include torah art, shabbat candlesticks, a tallit, Star of David, mezuzah, or a menorah, to name a few options. If you are going to give a religious gift, check with the host’s parents as they might have some of these items, and/or be getting them from their bar or a bat mitzvah.
  7. Books: Another great option, gifting a book can range from humor books to cookbooks to Jewish fiction as well as Jewish history books and Jewish cookbooks. Some ideas include: Coming of Age: 13 B’nai Mitzvah Stories by Jonathan Rosen, The Jewish Book of Why, and The Mitzvah of Challah by Esther Rivka Toledano.
  8. Technology: Most teens love technology so this can be a safe choice to gift your host. Depending on how well you know them, this can be a big present like an Apple watch to new headphones or their favorite video game or mini gaming console. 
  9. Art: Give the host a special piece of art such as torah art. This can be a custom piece of art where you add their name and date to the piece to an traditional piece of art to symbolize the religious significance of this special day.
How to Pick the Perfect Mitzvah Project
June 22nd, 2022

How to Pick the Perfect Mitzvah Project

As we know, a bar or bat mitzvah is so much more than just an excuse to throw a lavish party (though that’s certainly a highlight!). It marks the age at which a Jewish child is old and mature enough to be recognized as a Jewish adult and take on all of the responsibilities that come with that status. “Bar mitzvah” and “bat mitzvah” translate to “the child of commandments,” referring to the set of laws that Jews are supposed to follow, such as charity work, social justice, and involvement in their community.

In preparation for the big day, bar and bat mitzvah students are often encouraged to take on a mitzvah project, utilizing their skills and interests to give back to the community and people in need. Mitzvah projects are important because they teach young adults how to take initiative, impart change, and apply Jewish values to their everyday lives.

How Do I Choose a Mitzvah Project?

Mitzvah projects can take many forms, such as fundraisers, awareness campaigns, volunteer work, or creation or donation of tangible goods. Some projects may only take a few weeks to complete, while others involve months of planning and execution. If you’re lost and don’t know where to start in picking a project, below are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

1. Set a timeline.

Whether you start planning your project a year in advance or a few months in advance will impact how large of a project you’re able to take on. If your project plans to be very hands-on, such as knitting blankets for the homeless shelter or committing to a certain number of volunteer hours, make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to complete the project fully. 

If you find that bar/bat mitzvah day is approaching and the project isn’t completed, don’t fret! The goal of a mitzvah project is for your teen to learn lasting lessons on tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzedakah (charity work), and a good project will allow them to be involved even past their bar/bat mitzvah date.

2. Get personal.

The best mitzvah projects are the ones that mean the most to your teen, so it’s important to find a project that is meaningful to them and reflects their interests and values. Sit down with your teen and brainstorm- maybe they are passionate about animal rights, feeding the hungry, or environmentalism. Maybe a close family member or friend has been impacted by cancer or illness, or a local refugee family is in need of support. 

Encourage your teen to observe their community and find issues that need to be addressed. Cleaning up a local park or raising funds for an arts department or youth sports team are all small ways to make a huge impact.

3. Utilize your skills.

Once you’ve made a list of possible issues to address, it’s time to get tactical. If your teen loves to cook, organize a bake sale to raise funds for a cause. For artsy kids, handmade crafts could be donated to shelters or sold to friends and family for monetary donations. Getting sponsors for a race or organizing an intramural sports game is another way to funnel your teen’s passions into a social movement. No matter what your teen likes to do, there is a creative way to utilize it for good.

4. Involve the community.

While some mitzvah projects may not require many sets of hands, others will need lots of support in order to be successful. Remember, the goal of the mitzvah project is to introduce your teen to communal and collaborative charity work. Involving classmates, synagogue members, friends and family will not only make the project easier to take on, but more fun, too.

Feel free to involve an insert detailing the project with your bar/bat mitzvah invitations to help solicit funds and other involvement from those celebrating the big day with you. A call to action through social media, flyers, and word of mouth will ensure that your project gets the support it needs.


By Vered Ornstein

11 Popular Bat and Bar Mitzvah Games
June 16th, 2022

11 Popular Bat and Bar Mitzvah Games

After you decide in your theme and invite your guests, it’s time to plan the actual party, including what games you’re going to play. From classic options to bar/bat mitzvah favorites, we have you covered with some of the most popular games around.

Happy planning!

  1. Musical Chairs: A classic game that all of your party-goers will know, musical chairs will bring your guests back to their childhood as they have move with skill to stay in the game. This can be fun as you play your favorite music in the background and end with a prize.
  2. Dance Contest: Your child’s bar and bat mitzvah is going to be all about music! Get your guests involved by having a dance contest. This could also be a freeze dance contest, a silly dance contest, or a classic dance off.
  3. Treasure Hunt:  You and your child can make a fun treasure hunt where your guests have to find items throughout the space. This can include things your child loves, leading up a grand prize.
  4. TP Mummy: Create a teams of a few people where one person gets wrapped up in toilet paper by their teams. With music in the background, the teams have to wrap up a teammate until it stops. The person with the most wrapped up person, gets a prize.
  5. No Hands Game: Use objects like balls or fruit that your teen and their friends have to place under their chin. They then have to place it to the next person without using their hands. The team that gets it successfully to each team member wins a prize.
  6. Balloon Pass: Another fun game is to have two teams in a line who have to pass back a balloon to their teammates. The team that doesn’t drop the balloon wins a prize. 
  7. Limbo: Another classic for all guests is limbo! Get the music cranking as two guests continuously lower and lower the limbo poll.
  8. Hula Hoop Contest: Hand out a bunch of colorful hula hoops to your guests and have them twirl and move — without dropping them to the floor. The first person who keeps there hula’s going the longest wins a fun prize.
  9. Name that Song: Party-goers have the chance to test their listening skills where your DJ plays a snippet of a song and guests have to guess what it actually is. You can also do this with teams as you guests work together to name that song.
  10. Coke or Pepsi: A popular bar mitzvah games that involves two teams (named Coke and Pepsi) who form lines parallel to one another. A name of a participant is called and then that players runs to the opposite team on the knee of their partner. If Dr. Pepper is called, both teams run to the middle and say the party hosts’ name. If Sprite is called, nobody runs. If someone does they are out of the game.
  11. Balloon T-Shirt Stuff: Two teams are formed and one person on each team is given an oversized t-shirt that is sealed to the person’s body with an elastic band. When the game starts, teams blown up balloons as quickly as they can and stuff as many balloons as they can into the t-shirt in a certain amount of time. When time is called, the balloons are counted where the team with the most balloon wins.

What are some of your favorite bat and bar mitzvah part games?

6 Bat Mitzvah Ideas from Tik Tok
June 15th, 2022

6 Bat Mitzvah Ideas from Tik Tok

Looking for some theme ideas for your upcoming bat mitzvah? Inspiration is everywhere and one of our favorite places to look for fun bat mitzvah ideas is on Tik Tok. Following different party accounts and hashtags, you’ll open yourself up to a new world of inspiration and really cool ideas. 

Check out some cool parties that recently caught our attention. 

1. Bizziebeecreations on Tik Tok is a constant source of party inspiration. This party planner is all about giving her followers a fun look into how her parties come together. In their recent post, she showed how to create made a fun elegant floral bar, along with black and white tile that was stunning, fresh, and original.


#batmitzvah #partyinspo #partyideas #event #eventdecorations #eventstyling #prop #backdropdecoration #eventplanner @partyology #tiktok #partyrental

♬ original sound – Kira Kosarin

2. Jeffrey Selden on Tik Tok gave us a look a bat mitzvah that featured all things pink, red, and floral. The party featured a bright, pink neon sign with the hosts’ name, along with a collection of flowers and commemorative t-shirts to celebrate the occasion. 

3. Jamayyy.y on Tik Tok gave us a look at an elegant bat mitzvah with glass bulbs illuminated from the ceilings, pink lighting, elegant table settings, and more. 

4. Party Hop Shop on Tik Tok served up some serious inspiration with a mesmorizing balloon transformation. Through a time lapse, we see hosts’ name covered in yellow, blue, and white balloons that we are sure was the talk of the party.

5. Preppy.dtx gives us a first look at her bar mitzvah that was an ode to all things pink, preppy, and fun! This includes glitter tattoos, a candy bar, and even a model pink VW to take pictures in.

6. Lost tribe on Tik Tok shared a bunch of fun themes you can try, including a city theme, skater theme, club theme, and more.

What are some of your favorite Tik Tok accounts for party inspo?

Best Outdoor Bar/Bat Mitzvah Venues in the New York Area
June 14th, 2022

Best Outdoor Bar/Bat Mitzvah Venues in the New York Area

By Vered Ornstein 

The time has finally arrived to start planning your child’s bar or bat mitzvah! With the hours that you and your child have put into preparing for this milestone, it’s only natural to want every part of your big day to be perfect. But where to start? 

The ideal venue space will give your bar/bat mitzvah party the right balance of ambience, excitement, and level of accommodation for you and your guests. In recent years, outdoor venues have risen in popularity due to the limitations from COVID-19. But outdoor venues have benefits beyond just practicality!

Offering beautiful views, entertaining features, enticing atmospheres, and so much more, outdoor spaces throughout New York City offer the perfect opportunity to throw a unique and classy bar/bat mitzvah party.

Check out these ideas below to get inspired while searching for your ideal party venue.

*Note: These outdoor venue ideas are all located within New York City. If you live outside of the New York area, use this list as inspiration for your search of venues that are local to you.

Venue type #1: Rooftop or Private Terrace

The simplest way to go with an outdoor venue, a rooftop or private terrace can offer beautiful views, a controlled ambience, and unique decor features that are hard to come by. Whether your party will be intimate or large and bustling, there’s a private outdoor space that is sure to meet your needs:

  • The Tribeca Rooftop offers stunning views of the city, day or night. On a warm spring or summer day, the outdoor rooftop feels like the top of the world, while the 360 room indoors will protect from inclement weather without compromising on style.  
  • For the best of the indoors and outdoors all-in-one, try the many options from Chelsea Piers, such as the Sunset Terrace or The Lighthouse. Sprawling windows with sunset views and riverfront access get you the best of both worlds any time of year.
  • For a smaller party, check out the Deity in Downtown Brooklyn, whose laid back rooftop is an atmospheric space for up to 50 people. The three indoor spaces can accommodate a larger seated dinner, dancing, and more. 
  • Who doesn’t love a pizza party? Roberta’s in Bushwick has a huge outdoor patio that can be dressed up for a formal party, or dressed down to keep things casual. Enjoy a full-service bar, great views, and of course, delicious pizza.

Venue type #2: Gardens, Parks, and Zoos

Enjoy the best that New York has to offer by hosting your upcoming bar/bat mitzvah in one of the many parks and public spaces maintained by the city. Here are just a few of the multitude of options you have when looking to host a party in an NYC park:

  • The Brooklyn Botanical gardens are picturesque, accessible, and fun, even in the colder months. The Garden Terrace, located in the heart of the gardens, features both an indoor ballroom as well as an attached, tented outdoor space perfect for dancing and schmoozing.
  • The Boathouse and Picnic House in Prospect Park both offer beautiful event spaces for parties of any size. These venues are perfect for a down-to-earth and nature-inspired bar/bat mitzvah with some added flair!
  • For the animal-loving teen, what could be better than a bar/bat mitzvah at the New York Aquarium? Not only does this staple of the city have both indoor and outdoor spaces available, but a private sea lion show in the massive Aquatheater can be booked for additional entertainment. 

Venue type #3: Boat ride

Get your sea legs ready and book a yacht or boat tour for your child’s bar/bat mitzvah! With full-service catering, exciting sight-seeing, and an adventurous yet stylish atmosphere, a boat tour party will bring out the explorer in you and your guests.

There are many options of boating companies to choose from in New York City, including New York Harbor Tour, Skyline Cruises, and Empire Cruises, just to name a few. 

4 Unique Bar/Bat Mitzvah Party Favor Ideas
June 10th, 2022

4 Unique Bar/Bat Mitzvah Party Favor Ideas

By Vered Ornstein 

You’ve worked meticulously to plan your teen’s bar/bat mitzvah. From the ceremony to the outfits to nailing the theme — and everything in between! When the party is winds down, don’t forget the bar/bat mitzvah party favors as a way for your guests to remember this special day. 

An extension of your party theme, party favors could include traditional elements, such as a commemorative t-shirt or some candy, or perhaps something extra like an a custom or out-of-the-box favor. No matter if it’s the central piece of a gift bag or meant to stand alone, a unique party favor can really make your bar/bat mitzvah party stand out.

Below are four exciting ideas of party favors to consider to commemorate the closing of your teen’s special day.

1. Make a bar/bat mitzvah playlist

Get your guests involved in the party-planning process by having them help you build the perfect party playlist! 

  • When you send out your invites, ask each guest to suggest one song that reminds them of the bar/bat mitzvah teen.
  • Before the big day, compile those songs into a playlist and print out copies of the playlist’s QR code. 
  • Incorporate this into your seating chart labels, centerpieces, or name tags on party favors. 

Not only does this project make for a sentimental and personal take-home gift, but it will be a special reminder of good memories for your teen for years to come. By eliminating the need to curate your own playlist, it makes your (and your DJs) life a little easier, too.

2. Crafting station

Many families hire professional artists to entertain at their parties, but for an even more intimate experience, have guests create their own art to take home!

A crafting station could look like this:

  • A collage station with scissors, glue, copies of your teen’s favorite magazines, photos, and logos will let partygoers make their own mini scrapbooks commemorating the big night.
  • Watercolor paints and small paper canvases provide a mess-free way for guests to get creative and express themselves.
  • Sheets of carbon copy paper allow a guest to make one drawing or note for themselves and leave the copy behind for the bar/bat mitzvah teen.
  • Alphabet and colorful plastic beads paired with friendship bracelet string or gimp lanyard lets guests create wearable memories.
  • And any other crafty ideas you can dream of!

Crafting supplies are low-cost and easy to find, making this a fun and efficient way to spruce up your party and party favors.

3. Print a personalized coloring book

Try creating a one-of-a-kind coloring book chock full of your teen’s personality.

  • Have your teen compile some of their favorite pictures. This could pictures of your family, their friends, their favorite band, a logo of their sports team, etc. 
  • Once the photos are downloaded, convert them into coloring page drawings (there are several websites that do this for free or low cost). The pages can then be printed and hand-bound or sent to a professional printer who will create as many coloring books as you need. 
  • Pair each book with a small box of colored pencils or markers, and your guests will have a party favor unlike any other!

4. Create a DIY project

For small, personal gifts, try doing these DIY projects with your teen:

  • Use polymer clay to easily make jewelry, buttons, and more from the comfort of your own kitchen.
  • Fill small glass vials with sand from your favorite beach, or with colored sand for a beautiful little art piece.
  • Make a shrinky-dink charm or keychain with each guest’s name on it.

The handcrafted and individualized nature of a DIY project adds a personal touch and care to your party favors. Plus, they’re an excuse to do something fun and creative with your teen!

As you can see, there are so many fun bar/bat mitzvah party favors ideas. Work with your teen to create favors that your guests will treasure.

Happy Madison Productions to Film, “You are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah”
June 6th, 2022

Happy Madison Productions to Film, “You are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah”

Happy Madison Productions to Film, “You are So Not Invited to my Bat Mitzvah”

By Serena Norr

Exciting casting and movie news! “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” is going to be made into a feature film for Netflix. The movie will be produced by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions and Alloy Entertainment. 

The movie is based off of the wildly popular coming of age book by Fiona Rosenbloom that follows Stacy Friedman who is planning for her exciting bat mitzvah! As the social event of her lifetime, she can’t wait to dance with her crush until it all spirals down hill, starting when her mother makes her get a hideous dress. We can’t wait to see this hilarious book comes to life.

The production is also seeking the character of Dante, a 12-14 year old boy foreign exchange student with a slight Italian accent. Complete casting info here.

Life the Place to Be Offers NYC-Style Party Loft Right in Westchester
June 3rd, 2022

Life the Place to Be Offers NYC-Style Party Loft Right in Westchester

Life the Place to Be Offers NYC-Style Party Loft in Westchester

By Serena Norr

Looking for the “perfect” bar or bat mitzvah for your son or daughter is no easy feat. There are many elements to be considered and of course price point. We were floored when we found out more about LIFE…The Place To Be, a Westchester-based venue that offers 29,000-square-feet of party space! Located only 15 miles from NYC, this venue has a lot to offer families who want something beyond a traditional ballroom with space, modern amenities, and delicious food.

The venue can host up to 500 people and also includes an LED and projection screens, catering options (including Kosher catering), night club seating, lounge furniture, a state-of-the-art sound system.

And your kids will LOVE all of the fun options and activities. This includes laser tag, 2 bowling alleys, a rock climbing wall, 3,000-square feet of arcade games, and more!

Venue Details

Life the Place to Be 
2Lawrence Street
Ardsley, NY 10502
Phone: 914-591-4400

Check out even more ideas and inspiration from other families who have celebrated their child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah here.