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A Mitzvah Tradition: The Oneg Dinner

A Mitzvah Tradition: The Oneg Dinner

 

By Sheri Lapidus, founder MitzvahMarket.com

Many years ago, mostly through our children, six families became close friends and started a Bar/Bat Mitzvah tradition which we have repeated through the years.  This is something that is easy to start with your own friends, so I wanted to share the details with our readers.

Among these six families, we have 12 children. Each time one of the families is celebrating their child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah, we start the weekend off by hosting a Friday night Oneg dinner after Temple services at one of our homes for the Mitzvah family.

Recently it was my turn for our dear friends the Cohens, who were celebrating their son Drew’s Bar Mitzvah. (Drew is pictured left). He was the 9th of 12 children to celebrate their Bar or Bat Mitzvah and each time one of our friends has hosted this type of dinner on the Friday night of their special weekend. We have 3 to go and then we will have to come up with a tradition for their weddings!

Cohen Oneg

My husband Roy (far right) and I with Adam and Tammy Cohen, the proud Mitzvah parents

Cohen Oneg

There are usually about 40 guests (including the six families) and the host family organizes the food. While everyone contributes by making a dish or dessert, we also order from a catering company. For our dinner Bernard’s Fine Foods & Catering sent delicious Teriyaki Glazed Cedar Plank Salmon with grilled pineapple, Chicken Marsala, Eggplant Parmigiana, Penne alla Vodka and Chicken Fingers with honey mustard dipping sauce for the kids. Our friends filled in with additional homemade dishes and desserts. The beautiful centerpiece above was from Spitz & Peck.

Cohen Oneg

We go with a casual buffet style dinner

Cohen Oneg

We want each child to receive a keepsake they will always remember, so as part of their gift, each family chips in to buy the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child a watch. We present him/her their gift by each reading a verse of a poem, written specially for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child

Cohen Oneg

The gang presenting Drew with his watch

L-R: Sheri, Michelle Collins, Bar Mitzvah boy Drew, Sue Brett, Leslie Adler (our other friend Donna Reisman was celebrating her parents 50th Wedding anniversary and couldn’t be with us on this night)

Mazel Tov to the Cohen family. Drew did an amazing job reading from the Torah. Look for the Cohen Bar Mitzvah Family Spotlight soon!

Posted in Mitzvah Ideas, Favors & Gifts