10 B’nai Mitzvah in Iconic Venues in NYC | MitzvahMarket

10 B’nai Mitzvah in Iconic Venues in NYC

10 B’nai Mitzvah in Iconic Venues in NYC

10 B’nai Mitzvah in Iconic Venues in NYC

By Drew Isserlis Kramer


When Jewish children reach the age of 12 or 13, they celebrate a b’nai mitzvah. With or without a ritual ceremony, reaching this age declares Jewish tweens to be adults in the eyes of their congregation and community. With this coming of age ritual comes great responsibility. After this milestone, children are held responsible for their own actions, in charge of upholding the tradition and ethics of the Jewish people. With this great responsibility also comes a great party. While historical evidence of b’nai mitzvah celebrations exists from as early as the 12th century, the big business of b’nai mitzvah parties hit its stride in the 1950s. Due to increasing affluence in the American Jewish community, the 1950s gave rise to themed b’nai mitzvah parties with lavish decorations, musical entertainment and professional videographers. At the epicenter of this event planning boom was New York City. Home to the largest population of Jewish people in the United States, Jewish parents and their 300 friends continue to get their hora on at some of the most iconic venues in the city.


According to New York-based luxury event planner Casey Kaufman of Imagine Party and Events, “there are not a lot of venues in the city that can hold a massive amount of people.” While many families initially hope to create intimate celebrations, guest lists often swell with the child’s camp friends and school friends. Since living grandparents often contribute to these milestone moments, they too require a generous head count. As a result, certain venues became the go-to spaces for b’nai mitzvah memory making. If you are looking for a large event space to host your child’s b’nai mitzvah, consider our top 10 New York venues that are ripe with history and legend.  


1. Cipriani:  Yes, celebrities love this spot, but what makes Cipriani an iconic pick for a B’nai Mitzvah is that the food is delicious and the adults will also enjoy celebrating at this noteworthy spot. With its five separate venues in Manhattan, Cipriani brought its illustrious international hospitality brand to the United States in the 1980s. Following acquisition of 55 Wall Street in 1997, the Italian hotel and leisure group built a reputation for high end, large scale private events in New York City. While 42nd Street, 25 Broadway and South Street are all equally posh, Cipriani’s first New York location at 55 Wall Street is its most iconic. Celebrated for its Greek revival architecture, as well as its status as a landmark once housing the New York Stock Exchange, this 70-foot ceiling domed structure is sought after for its fine cuisine and classic service and will make lasting New York memories for the entire family. 


2.Angel Orensanz Center: Want a venue with as much spiritual significance as architectural splendor? Consider the oldest surviving synagogue structure in New York City. Built in 1849 on Norfolk Street, between Stanton and East Houston, this historic landmark was built in the Gothic Revival style to resemble the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. Still occasionally operated as a synagogue as the Shul of New York, the building, owned by the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts, is home to artistic productions, as well as private events like weddings and b’nai mitzvahs. Based on Casey Kaufman’s experience with the venue, she suggests “holding the service at the Orensanz bema and then flipping the upstairs space to move from cocktail hour to the party.” 

3. The Plaza Hotel: Searching for a venue that evokes Old New York opulence? From its original 1907 construction to its magnificent $450 million dollar restoration in 2008, The Plaza Hotel is luxury. The 18-story, French Renaissance-inspired château style building, located west of Fifth Avenue, between 58th Street and Central Park South, was home to the most exclusive and exciting events of the last century. From the Palm Room to the splendors of the Grand Ballroom and Terrace Room. The Plaza offers 21,000 square feet of elegance so there is plenty of room to have a theme at this space, room for photo booths, dancing and more.

4. Spring Studios: Whether it’s the fashionista or your very New York kid- this creative a bespoke event has that downtown cool factor. Tribeca’s Spring Studios, known for hosting luxury fashion shows and photo shoots, this 150,000 square foot space also flexes to host private events like weddings and b’nai mitzvahs. Spaces range from intimate to grand, accommodating guests lists that balloon up to 2,500 guests. Differentiated from other white box venues with cutting edge event technology, floor to ceiling windows and a 9,000-square foot terrace, Spring Studios is perfect for a family that wants to create a large, immersive experience for their guests.

5. The Pierre: Ambiance française à New York! Located on 61st and Fifth Avenue, The Pierre Hotel and its event spaces are known for timeless elegance. Since its opening in 1930, The Pierre has been home to the style set of Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor. Despite significant renovations, The Pierre maintains its signature charm. Initially modeled after Versailles, the Pierre’s checkered marble floors, magnificent ballroom featuring grand staircases and a Rotunda with ornate murals makes it a stylish space for sophisticated families looking for a dramatic and dreamlike aesthetic.

6. Sony Hall: Opening in 1938, it began as a nightclub and burlesque lounge, eventually becoming a legitimate Broadway theater. It became a private events venue in the 1980s, but shuttered from the 1990s through the early 2000s. In 2013, it reemerged from a $20-million renovation as a live performance venue showcasing audio and visual technology by Sony. With an Art Deco aesthetic that recalls its old New York history, and state of the art sound, lighting and video technology, the venue is perfect for a b’nai mitzvah kid with stage presence. A flexible space that can accommodate a seated dinner for 400 with a dance floor and main stage, Sony Hall events come with turnkey offerings that are anything but cookie cutter. Party packages include catering, dining tables and chairs, lounge setups, state of the art technology and an expert in-house audio visual team. The venue’s ariel equipment makes for not-to-be-forgotten experiences, like suspended acrobats and mocktail bars. 

7. Rainbow Room: On the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Rock Center lives one of the highest venues in New York City. Opened in 1934, the Rainbow Room was a playground for the city’s elite. Seventy-eight years after its inception, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission declared the Rainbow Room a landmark. After 90 years of operation, the Rainbow Room is still a sought after location for private events. Known for its Art Deco decor, fine modern American cuisine and skyline views, this 4,464 square foot slice of American history seats dinner and dancing for parties of 250-300 guests. 

8. American Museum of Natural History: This New York iconic museum is perfect for budding scientists and animal lovers, creating a b’nai mitzvah that celebrates biodiversity and learning. Private events at the American Museum of Natural History give guests a rare opportunity to experience the exhibits without throngs of tourists. Depending on your wildlife interest, the museum offers endless possibilities for private events of substantial size and scale. Want to celebrate under the famed 94-foot blue whale? In the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, 800 of your closest friends and family can enjoy a seated dinner with dancing. More excited by space, dinosaurs or African Mammals? The museum’s got you covered. Want your event to do good? Hosting an event at the Museum supports scientific research and educational programs. 

9. Liberty Warehouse: Located directly on New York Harbor in Brooklyn’s historic Red Hook neighborhood, Liberty Warehouse is a premiere event space for unique private events that range from Kanye’s grandmother’s annual birthday party, to Beyonce and Jay Z release events to your next b’nai mitzvah. With views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, the venue’s expansive 15,000 square foot patio looks out at the site where the Jewish American story begins. Built in 1850, the two-story space can accommodate both the service and celebrations that range as large as a 400 person sit-down dinner and a 1200+ person cocktail party. Owned by the same operators of New York’s iconic Water Club and River Cafe, the food and service is premium. The popularity of the venue requires that families book a year to two years in advance to ensure the date. Once booked, parents are invited to think big and creatively for how to leverage the space. Fireworks in the New York Harbor. Arrive via a hot air balloon on the patio. Sail into your party from the sea. The sky’s the limit at this cool, industrial venue.

10. Brooklyn Bowl: Famed live music and bowling venue with a hipster sensibility, Brooklyn Bowl has become a standout option for families aspiring to create out-side-the-box b’nai mitzvah celebrations. The 23,000 square foot space includes a sixteen-lane bowling alley and built-in main stage with access to world-class entertainment, the venue can accommodate 250 people for dinner, dancing–and bowling! Catered by popular New York City restaurant group Blue Ribbon, the high quality and fun food offering is another draw to the location that oozes cool factor.

Psst…check out A Second B’nai Mitzvah for Old Time’s Sake

Posted in Editorial