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Eat Pray Save: Trials & Tribulations Of A Mitzvah Mom – Part 3

Eat Pray Save: Trials & Tribulations Of A Mitzvah Mom – Part 3

By Cindy Silvert,

When it comes to a wedding, the three most important elements are the DRESS!

With a Bar Mitzvah, it’s impossible to know where to invest your energies, what really counts. The music, the food and the venue are all priced out of the ballpark, so unless you’re planning a potluck jamboree your options are limited. About that potluck jamboree…

We all know how it (the standard simcha) goes: you gorge on sushi, get screamed at by the DJ and rave about the centerpieces (if you expect to be asked back). May I ask why? (Yes, to all of the above.) Don’t even get me started on those “must have” second tier money pits such as the photographer and videographer, party favors, décor and invites? Regarding the photographer, let’s see… one can topple a government, fuel a revolution or catapult oneself to international stardom with a cheap cell phone and the click of a mouse. Ditto for the invite. And why can’t the door prize be that yummy feeling of sharing in a simcha? Also, wouldn’t it be nice if the overpriced centerpiece didn’t wilt within hours? (This from a former florist!)

Whether you have the funds or not, isn’t it time we took a collective look at what’s become the norm? We all gag when we read about those monster Bar Mitzvahs, but are we, the forschbite feasters, really so innocent? A local bakery just reported that its most expensive cake to date cost $20,000 and was, needless to say, for a Bar Mitzvah. Let’s do some math, shall we? $20,000 could buy two basketball courts for an Israeli development town, 10,000 hot lunches for hungry school kids, 3,000 iPads for no one in particular… When does it stop? How about now?


About Cindy Silvert
Cindy Lynn Silvert took the long route to the States from Canada via Israel, where she studied, worked and had her first two children. A lover of the Arts, Cindy is a professionally trained actor, prolific artist and writer. She has designed educational software, curricula and museums exhibits in addition to editing two books. She writes for a number of sites including where she shares culinary secrets, shortcuts and tips. She is also a featured chef and lead contributor of

Follow Cindy’s new blog Eat Pray Save, right here on as she challenges the status quo all the way to the Bimah, while planning her son’s upcoming Bar Mitzvah. Eat Pray Save will be the place to get a fresh perspective and a classy, yet fun and affordable solution to the out of control phenomenon of the American Bar Mitzvah.

It’s funny stuff we know you will enjoy!

Share your thoughts by writing to us at [email protected].


“Can’t agree more, I was born and raised on LI, but have since moved up to Connecticut almost 13 years ago. We are in the process of planning our daughters Bat Mitzvah for this May. Although we want a fun NY party, I want it with a Connecticut price tag. I keep reminding myself, this is a 13 year olds b-day party.

I even purchased adorable invitations online, without breaking the bank! I even bought a fabulous dress for myself on the Website, Ideeli. Why do We need to spend a ridiculous amount of money? I’ve also been on the Website rent the runway. This is another great option for some. This will be our first Mitzvah, just trying to keep it all in perspective!”
— Abbe

“Just wanted to drop you a note and say that I really liked Cindy’s column. I’m planning a Bat Mitzvah (my third and last) for my daughter in November 2011, and I’m constantly stunned by the incredible excess of Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties.

I really appreciate Cindy’s efforts to get people to take it down a few notches, and the fact that the Mitzvah Market is encouraging parents and kids to think about what their party says, what it represents, and how to make it more of a spiritual experience. Thanks again, and keep up the good work.”
— Laaren

Catch up on what you missed!

Read Part 1
Read Part 2


Posted in Mitzvah Ideas, Other Ideas