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COVID Vaccination Status and Testing at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs
November 7th, 2021

COVID Vaccination Status and Testing at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs

The pandemic has changed the way we plan Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations. Nowadays, before we even begin to think about logos, swag and décor, we ask ourselves, “Am I making the right decision to proceed with a celebration in the first place?” Luckily, many families who dealt with COVID restrictions at their Bar or Bat Mitzvah are willing to share how they handled COVID requirements.

Check Your Federal, State and Venue COVID Vaccination and Masking Requirements

First and foremost, families consulted the Center for Disease Control, local boards of health, and venues for specific COVID requirements. For recent celebrations in NYC and California, all guests entering the venue had to be vaccinated in accordance with State and local COVID rules for indoor dining. In fact, in California, host families can even verify proof of vaccination through the State. Many temples are also requiring negative COVID tests and proof of vaccination. 

Put Guests on Notice: Let Them Know in advance that you will Require Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID Test

After you have checked all the applicable COVID requirements for your geographical area and venue, you must get the message to your guests. But how do you ask guests about their vaccination status or proof of a negative COVID test in a way that won’t offend? Because let’s be honest, it’s awkward.

Ask Ahead of time. Keep your timeline moving by asking for proof of vaccination and negative COVID test in advance. This also eliminates the unfortunate circumstance of having to ask a guest to leave.

Many families sent a straightforward email. Here are some examples of language used by real families:

  • “All vaccinated guests will be asked to show proof of vaccination or negative test at the door.”
  • “We are asking that attending guests be fully vaccinated. If you are not, we hope you will join us virtually.”
  • “We graciously ask that all guests ages 12 and above be fully vaccinated.”
  • “If you are 12 and older we require proof of vaccination to attend the celebration. Children under 12 will need a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the event.”
  • “Vaccines will be required for all guests 12 and up and vaccine cards will be checked as you enter. Our security staff will not be able to discuss this policy with you at the door.”

Some families ask guests to test themselves within 72 hours of the event and furnish the results. This is especially true for guests who were under the age for vaccination or guests who traveled from out of town. You will have “less surprises on the day of the party” if you ask guests to test ahead of time.

Whether or not your guests are vaccinated, it is important to acknowledge that you understand how they feel about attending a large event. One mom told guests by email “we completely understand if you changed your mind and would prefer to sit this out due to the current situation with COVID.” As another mom explained to us, “it’s very hard, but the one thing we can do is be kind. Unvaccinated guests handled our requests well. We had no complaints or cancellations.” Agreeing with this, another mom added “we received many kind words from parents and family thanking us for being responsible.” She emphasized that asking for vaccination status is the new norm and did not deter a single guest from attending their Bar Mitzvah. Bottom line: even your most easily offended relatives can appreciate a kindly worded email!

How to Collect and Keep Track of Vaccination Status and COVID Test Results

You’ve made your decision to ask for vaccination cards or negative COVID tests. Now what? How do you collect and keep track of the information?

Many families asked guests to show their vaccination card (or a photo) at the door to the venue. Several families asked for vaccination dates on the RSVP card. Others used various online platforms in advance to keep track of vaccination replies. One family sent guests a Google Form and then had a security guard at the door checking in guests. For that family, proof of vaccination was not negotiable. “We were pretty clear, no card/PCR, no entry.” Other families asked guests to upload their vaccination cards to RSVPify or Websites they created. Families having more intimate Bar or Bat Mitzvahs with close friends and family felt comfortable with an honor system.

How to Manage COVID Testing on at the Venue on the Day of the Party

Many families take additional steps of testing guests before they walk through the door. But how do you administer tests or collect vaccination information without delaying the service and celebration?

One family hired someone to take temperatures before guests entered the party. Another family hired a company to administer tests in their driveway two days before the big day.

Many families we spoke with administered rapid tests to all guests at the venue. One mom explained that she started an hour before the service and kept guests in a room until they tested negative and then were invited to join the service.

Another parent created a Signup Genius for 20 guests at a time in 15 minute intervals. To protect privacy, the family assigned each guest a number and used a wipe off board to post negative results. They also collected phone numbers in the event of a positive test. Parents of kids being dropped off waited in the parking lot for the all-clear.

The P Word…!

We refuse to say pivot ever again, so instead will use the word “creative” and sometimes, you will need to get creative! For example, while some families were lucky to obtain rapid tests at Walmart, CVS and Walgreens, they have become scarce. One resourceful family suggested contacting camps and schools to purchase soon to be expiring tests.

Likewise, to make masks feel like less of a burden, one family cleverly incorporated masks into the Bat Mitzvah theme with a masquerade murder mystery party!

Whether you ask for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, it’s important to keep your end-game in mind. Your child is about to embark on an incredible Jewish milestone, and you want that experience to be as safe as possible for everyone. Yes, the times are weird, but, with vaccinations for kids 5-11 years old recently approved, let’s all hope they are a’ changing!

Would you like to add what you did for your child’s celebration? Just send us an email at [email protected].


Bat Mitzvah With Views Of Long Island Sound
October 19th, 2021

Bat Mitzvah With Views Of Long Island Sound

Melisa Imberman from The Event Of A Lifetime tells Mitzvah Market, “Like so many other families, this Bat Mitzvah celebration was postponed from April, 2020. I wasn’t involved with the planning of the original event, but when they were ready to move forward with their new date, they learned that their venue had closed and their decorator had gone out of business, so they needed help.” Melisa continues, “I quickly found a venue that met all of their requirements, came up with the concept and entertainment and before we knew it the Bat Mitzvah happened!”

The Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club is a venue in right on the water and could accommodate a Bat Mitzvah ceremony and cocktail hour outside with a view of the Long Island Sound. The celebration was bright, fun and featured the Bat Mitzvah girl’s name, initials and favorite colors. H&H Photographers took all the photos.

Bat Mitzvah Details

Thanks to The Event Of A Lifetime for sharing this special celebration.

“Carly and The Chocolate Factory” Bat Mitzvah Theme
October 9th, 2021

“Carly and The Chocolate Factory” Bat Mitzvah Theme

21Mitzvah Mom Alison tells Mitzvah Market, “We decided to hold a Covid safe indoor Bat Mitzvah service and outdoor reception under a tent to celebrate Carly’s special day. She always dreamed of a “Carly and the Chocolate Factory” themed Bat Mitzvah, since I own a custom confections business. We took the theme and ran with it!”

Despite a rainy evening, this family danced all night with close family and friends celebrating their girl.

Pictured above (L-R): Mom Alison, Bat Mitzvah girl Carly, dad Mitchell and brother Evan.

Andy Foster was the photographer and the rest of the vendors are listed at the bottom.

Bat Mitzvah Details

Confection Fun!

Mom Alison is the owner of Sweet Ali Custom Confections and wanted to immerse their guests in a candy and chocolate experience.

Alison’s Mom to Mom advice

“Choose a great venue and the best vendors and be prepared to PIVOT (in the wise words of Ross Gellar). The unexpected rain definitely put a wrench in our plans, and a local noise ordinance prompted a visit from the local police…but nothing could shake our vendors. Between Jared the quintessential mensch of More Than Music, Phyllis the wizard from Extraordinary Products, Andy Foster our incredible photographer, to the unshakeable Amy Hochberg our event planner, they all seamlessly shifted gears. Working along with the fabulous Meadow Wood staff they quickly realigned timing, placements, service, etc., to make it look like it was meant to happen that way. They were all perfection. Also…don’t sweat it. It is what it is, don’t let it stress you out. You have to be ready to roll with whatever transpires and just enjoy all the hard work and effort you and your child put into this celebration.”

Bat Mitzvah Vendors

Venue: The Meadow Wood, 973-537-5454
Party Planner: AH Solutions LLC, Amy Hochberg, 917-680-4895
Music Entertainment/Chocolate Factory: Jared Levine, MC Rico, More Than Music, 516-626-9400
Photographer/Videographer: Andy Foster, 973-632-8000
Montage: Elissa Owen Montages, 617-480-4935
Invitations/Favors: Robyn, Fingerprints Event Design, 917-670-4483
Edible Swag/Desserts/Exit Treats/Drink Toppers: Sweet Ali Custom Confections, 862-254-2400
Cake: Cake It, Baby, 973-900-7034
Photo Booth: TapSnap, 877-577-0566
Decor: Phyllis Skolnick, Extraordinary Productions, 973-467-1637
Dresses: Lola’s, 732-972-5222
Suits: 580 South, 973-758-0580
Hair/Make-up: Kim Lembryk
Kippot: Randi Lehman, That One Special Touch, 516-496-1025



B’nai Mitzvah Planned In Less Than 2 Months
October 2nd, 2021

B’nai Mitzvah Planned In Less Than 2 Months

The Spritzer family had less than 2 months to create their twins, Artie & Deia’s B’nai Mitzvah after a year and half of COVID lockdown. They decided to move from a small backyard celebration to the Ash Brook Golf Club, a mostly outdoor venue. The B’nai Mitzvah service was celebrated in April and the party was a few weeks later in May to try and catch warmer weather.

Mom Robyn tells Mitzvah Market, “Lisa from Lisa Ivler Events helped us emotionally and physically move our celebration to the Ash Brook. The venue was a perfect setting for our closest friends and family. We are known by all who attended as the event that ended COVID! Most importantly, Artie & Deia had the best day of their lives.”

Pictured above (L-R): Mom Robyn, Artie, dad Jonathan, Deia and older sister Shaila

The photographer was Pete Tehomilic from PJT Prints and the rest of the vendor information is listed at the bottom.

B’nai Mitzvah Details

Mom To Mom Advice From Robyn

There are so many ways to make a safe party incredible. Also, you don’t have to spend $100k to have a beautiful event, you need the right partners and maybe you have to do a little extra leg work, but it can be and will be amazing.

B’nai Mitzvah Vendors

Venue: Ash Brook Golf Club, 908-490-8620
Party Planner: Lisa Ivler Events, 973-826-2108
Music Entertainment/Roaming Photo Booth: AJH Entertainment, 732-446-1329
Photographer/Videographer: Pete Tehomilic, PJT Prints
Favors/Logo: Paper Capers, 973-994-3130
Invitations: Paperless Post
Decor: Chris Tribuna, Balloon Design Studio
: Shutterfly album
Dresses: Deia, Lola, 732-972-5222, Shaila, Bloomingdales, Mom Robyn, Macy’s
Suits: Nordstrom
Hair: David Chad
Makeup: Rachel Wartski, Pretty Faces, 973-900-2597

B’nai Mitzvah at Sleepaway Camp
September 26th, 2021

B’nai Mitzvah at Sleepaway Camp

The Gustat family from Needham, Massachusetts held the first ever B’nai Mitzvah at Camp Tevya in Brookline, New Hamphire where twins Sam and Abby go to overnight camp. Mom Rachel, who is a party planner tells us, “It was very special because my husband Michael went to this camp for 13 years. It was great to put my professionals skills to work for my family at my kids favorite place.”

Pictured above (L-R): Mom Rachel, Sam, Abby and dad Michael

Camp Tevya is a little over an hour away from where they live so adults arrived by car and the kids were bused from Newton. The ceremony took place at camp followed by an afternoon party in a huge tent.

Robert Castagna was the photographer and the rest of the vendors are listed at the bottom of this spotlight story.

Camp Fun

Color War!

Video Re-Cap


Mom to Mom Advice

“I recommend starting early in the planning process. It’s always busy at the end so the more you are able to get done earlier in the process the better. There are things that can’t be done until later but having a timeline and check list is super helpful. I also advise to think of something different for the kids to do so it stands out from other Bar/Bat Mitzvahs they attend. We did color war and it was the highlight for the kids!”

B’nai Mitzvah Project

Sam and Abby donated money to Brothers for Life, an organization their family is involved with that helps injured Israeli soldiers heal and provides them with a community.

B’nai Mitzvah Vendors

The following vendors helped make Sam and Abby’s celebration special. If you get in touch with any of them, let them know you read about their product/services on Mitzvah Market.

Venue: Camp Tevya
Party Planner: Mom Rachel, Rachel G Events, 617-835-1491
Invitations: Diane Lunder, 95 Designs, 617-968-1173
Tutor: Rhonda Magier-Cohen, Major Tutoring, 508-789-7717
Abby’s Sneakers: Rebootz, 516-456-5468, 516-779-2048
Montage: Elissa Owens Montages, 617-480-4935
Florist: Mahla Ellerin, Bloom Floral Design Studio, 617-645-1155
Music Entertainment: Siagel Productions, 617-614-5422
Photographer: Robert Castagna Photography, 617-822-9271
Videographer: Josh Norton, Tanner Videos, 617-797-7007
Favors: Nina Shatz, Bamko, 781-801-8407
Entertainment: Perfect Parties, 800-275-0185
Decor: Amanda, Eye Candy Balloons, Bedford, NH
Board/Candle Lighting Display/Centerpieces: Hope Hanley Events: 617-202-1793
Logo/Graphic Design of signs/seating chart/color war chart: Lisa Thompson Design, 508-930-8444
Special Touches: Rally towels and medals for color war winners, 888-725-5986
Dance floor/Sparkle machine: Party Excitement, 978-535-3100
Dress: Pink Domino, 617-964-7465
Suits: Brooks Brothers
Hair/Makeup: Shimmered Beauty: 781-492-8010
Transportation: Local Motion, 781-535-6344
Photo Booth: Fun Flips Entertainment, 508-786-2989
Air Brush Hats: McIntyre, 978-660-0741
Air Brush Tattoos: Boston Balloon Art, 781-439-0809
Dessert: Cupcakes 101 (Candy buffet): 803-860-4334
Signs/Sign in Board/Printing: All Right Mailing and Printing


Colorado Family Celebrates Bar Mitzvah In NY
September 19th, 2021

Colorado Family Celebrates Bar Mitzvah In NY

Melisa Imberman from The Event Of A Lifetime recently planned Nathan’s Bar Mitzvah celebration for a New York family who currently live in Colorado. Melisa tells us, “When family members were hesitant to travel to Colorado, this family decided to celebrate in NY where the majority of their guests live. I was contacted and found the perfect rustic venue, Peter Pratt’s Inn, which is set in the woods.” It was very important that their family & close friends could celebrate Nathan in a way that felt like them, like the life they have built in Colorado although the party was in NY. They wanted to have a laid back celebration where everyone could enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

Shari Silk Photography took all the photos.

Beautiful Rustic Bar Mitzvah Setting

Mazel Tov to Nathan and his family! We thank Melisa Imberman for sharing this celebration. To learn more about The Event Of A Lifetime, visit their profile page.

Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah Gift Ideas From Our Local Facebook Groups
August 29th, 2021

Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah Gift Ideas From Our Local Facebook Groups

Have you joined the Bar Bat Mitzvah conversation on Facebook? We have regional Facebook groups where parents connect with other local Moms and Dads who are also in Bar or Bat Mitzvah planning mode.

Great questions are being asked and parents are getting recommendations on vendors, trends and ideas. We asked a “gift” related question and got great ideas from our members that we wanted to share.

What Bar or Bat Mitzvah gift did your child receive or give that was a big hit? Do you have a photo to share? #whenyoudontwanttowriteacheck

A big thanks to all our Facebook members for sharing their favorite Bar and Bat Mitzvah gifts! You can get in on the conversation by joining our local Facebook groups in your area.

If you have a favorite gift you would like to add to this story, let us know by sending a photo/description to [email protected].

Backyard Bat Mitzvah With 2 Staggered Parties
August 14th, 2021

Backyard Bat Mitzvah With 2 Staggered Parties

Lily Rose’s Bat Mitzvah required quick thinking and practical solutions. Melisa Imberman from The Event Of A Lifetime handled all those challenges and more! She tells Mitzvah Market, “The Bat Mitzvah was originally scheduled for April 2021 with a celebration at The Loading Dock. Due to COVID restrictions at that time we moved the party to Lily’s house for Memorial Day weekend hoping for a warmer outdoor celebration, but that was not exactly what happened!”

Although the family has a small backyard, Melisa was able to take the original big plans and figure out how to make it work. Her solution was to utilized every inch of their property using a tent in the front and one in the back of the house. A balloon tunnel leading guests from the front to the back and a series of connecting tents came in handy due to the rainy and cold Memorial Day weekend! In addition to space being a challenge, the ever changing rules about the number of guests permitted to gather due to COVID was also working against them. Melisa’s solution was to celebrate with two staggered events. Lily’s friends arrived for a cocktail hour, dinner and formalities in the front tent and once they moved to the back tent, it was cleaned up, reset and used for a group of adults who arrived. The adults stayed in the front tent and were served hors d’oeuvres cocktails and then dessert. 

Check out all the amazing details for this flower theme which grew into a flower power vibe with whimsical flowers in every color plus hearts and rainbows!

Chad David Kraus Photography took all the photos.

Mazel Tov to Lily and thank you Melisa from The Event Of A Lifetime for sharing this celebration with our readers. To learn more about The Event Of A Lifetime visit their profile page.

Past, Present & Future Candle Lighting Ceremony
August 7th, 2021

Past, Present & Future Candle Lighting Ceremony

Who better to find the latest and greatest for all things Bar Bat Mitzvahs than our own Mitzvah Moms!

The candle lighting ceremony is something many families include in their child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah party. Have you heard about the “Past, Present and Future” candle. This cuts down on the time of the candle lighting ceremony and includes all of your guests and even those who aren’t there.

We thank Mitzvah Mom Halley Manyin for sharing the wording she used at her daughter’s celebration.

You can take these poems and adjust them for your child’s past, present and future candle.


The first candle I will light tonight will represent the people I have loved and lost in the past.
Some I knew well but others I was never lucky enough to make memories that will last.
I would love for my brother Jake to come up here and light this candle with me.
Together we will prosper and grow to represent our wonderful family tree.


The second candle I will light is for all of you adults celebrating with me here tonight.
Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and all of my parents’ friends make my life turn out just right.
My mom and dad are always there to guide me through all that happens day to day.
Please come up here to light the present candle because you’ve helped shape who I am today.


The last candle I will light will represent my future which I know is so bright.
Today marks the beginning of a journey that will be out of sight.
My friends will be a huge part of many more years of great times.
So will ALL of you come up here so I can finally end these rhymes!

Do you have a “Mom Find” to share with our readers? Send it to us at [email protected].

See a past “Mom Find” here.

Top 15 Questions To Ask Your Bar Bat Mitzvah Photographer
August 1st, 2021

Top 15 Questions To Ask Your Bar Bat Mitzvah Photographer

Hiring a photographer to cover your Bar or Bat Mitzvah party is a must.

Every photographer has his or her own style of shooting, way of working and what they’ll offer you in terms of packages. The first question you need to ask of yourself is: What do you want the photographer to capture? Are formal portraits important or do you want lots of candids throughout the party?

Find out what the photographer’s style is and what kind of experience they have with Bar and Bat Mitzvahs through samples of their work. Make sure you are on the same page and you have clearly communicated your desires so you get what you want.

A key way to do this is to make a “shot list” for the photographer. These are the photos that you want for sure. Do you want group shots with the grandparents and cousins? Your child’s camp friends? School friends? Photos of your son or daughter dancing with their grandparents? Pics of all the centerpieces and the room before anyone arrives? Sometimes it helps to have the party planner or a friend or relative help the photographer by gathering these groups for photos or pointing out the people who should not be overlooked.

The more information and direction the photographer has from you, the more likely it is that you will be happy with the outcome. Keep in mind you want your photographer to be creative and use their judgement during the event. Some of the best photos will likely be of spontaneous moments you couldn’t have planned.



1. What is your style? Traditional? Photojournalistic?
2. Do you specialize or are you skilled in party candids, portraits or both?
3. Have you photographed many Bar and Bat Mitzvahs before so you know what to expect? Can I see your work and get references


4. If you are working with a large photography company, ask, who will actually be shooting my party? (It’s a good idea to get the name of the specific person in writing and talk to them directly beforehand.)
5. Do you shoot digital or traditional film or both? What do you think are the important differences?
6. Roughly how many photos will you shoot? (Remember, with digital you may get lots more photos and you often get them sooner.)
7. When will we see proofs and how soon will albums be delivered once we choose the photos?
8. Do you post the photos on your Website so I can share with friends and family? How long will they stay online?


9. What does your price include? An album? Prints? Will I have to pay for each 5 x 7 or 8 x 10 print that is ordered? How much will that cost
10. Can I have the negatives or photos on a disk if I want them to have my own digital books printed? Is that an additional cost?
11. How many hours will you be there? What do you charge for overtime if necessary?


12. Are you available for additional photo shoots in synagogue before the Bar or Bat Mitzvah or for a creative session with the child? How much more will that cost?
13. Do you provide any other services including montages? Videography?
14. How many people do you work with? (If you have a large guest list or a lot going on, you may want additional photographers so you don’t miss anything.)
15. What back up plans do you have if you can’t make the party at the last minute? Do you have liability insurance?

See all the photographers/videographers listed in our Vendor Directory.

Read: Top 15 Questions To Ask Your Bar Bat Mitzvah DJ
Read: Top Questions To Ask A Bar Bat Mitzvah Venue Before You Book
Read: Top Questions To Ask Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah Caterer