menu

Mitzvah Market Magazine: The Big 3

Mitzvah Market Magazine: The Big 3

Jackson Hochhauser, Jacob Greenberger and Spencer Levine (left to right)

Three Times The Celebration
By Brynne Magaziner
What started as a joke turned into three times the party for three great friends, Jacob Greenberger, Spencer Levine and Jackson Hochhauser of Westport, Connecticut. The “Big 3” shared nearly all aspects of their Bar Mitzvah weekend and their theme tied together the many components of the joint celebration.

Jacob, Spencer and Jackson met through youth soccer, which their dads coached and their families cheered them on from the sidelines. The boys and their families spent countless hours together — sharing family dinners, playing and watching youth sports and taking trips together.

All photos by January Stewart

By 4th grade, the moms started talking about their sons’ future Bar Mitzvahs. None of the families belonged to a synagogue and since they were all looking for a nontraditional religious school experience, they jointly hired a private tutor. During the process one of the moms joked, “Wouldn’t it be funny if they shared a Bar Mitzvah?” It actually made a lot of sense to all three moms — the families had similar laid-back styles, the boys’ friends overlapped and they were already studying together once a week. The boys agreed it was an awesome idea so the moms started planning. From there, the idea of the “Big 3” Bar Mitzvah grew.

Logistically, navigating decision making with three different families had its tricky moments. But communication, compromise and knowing what each family felt was important helped the planning go smoothly. The families split most of the costs, but each family also paid for the things that were important to them. Overall, the benefits far outweighed the costs: it took the pressure off each boy to share the big day with two other friends; the moms divided up the work of planning a party, and it drew the families even closer together.

The service and kiddush luncheon were at The Inn at Longshore in Westport, Connecticut, and were for extended family and the boys’ closest friends only — about 200 guests. Then in the evening, there was a party at Bowlmor in Norwalk, Connecticut, which focused more on the kids and included 275 guests.

“The most special part for us was the service,” says Sara Greenberger, Jacob’s mom. “We spent a lot of time putting together both traditional and non-religious readings and considering how to get the extended families of all three boys involved. Because we had a private tutor, we got to make the rules. It turned out warm, informal and completely personalized. It felt like all of us.”

The boys shared all aspects of the weekend from the joint invitation to the service. They even went up on chairs at the same time during the hora. The “Big 3” theme, bright color palette and logo tied the components of the weekend together. The Kiddush luncheon had colored Lucite centerpieces that read “The Big 3,” photos of the boys throughout the years and oversized balloons. The evening party glowed with cosmic bowling, LED furniture and orbs and “Big 3” signage throughout. The families had custom foam fingers made for their grand entrance, with each of the boys’ names written on a finger.

The party closed out the Mitzvah season at their school, so the novelty of the shared Bar Mitzvah and their unique location helped to keep the party exciting. The cocktail hour consisted of bowling and arcade games and then the lanes were switched over to a dance floor. From there it was a traditional party with dancing, games and a montage.

However, their montage was a bit different. The families didn’t want to have their guests sit through three separate montages, so they worked with Josh Parent of Little Birdy Productions to put together a mockumentary style video. It was done in the style of a 30 for 30 ESPN film and helped guests who might only have known one or two of the boys, get to know the others. It had interviews with the boys, family members and friends, plus numerous photos of Jacob, Spencer and Jackson through the years.

It was a memorable night for all three of them, their families and guests. And, the best part about it: the Greenberger, Levine, and Hochhauser families still consider each other great friends after the entire process. They must have done something right!

The following vendors helped to make the celebration special:
Venue: Service/Kiddush luncheon, The Inn at Longshore, 203-701-7150
Party: Bowlmor, 203-838-7501
Party Planner: Arlene Rosenthal, 203-984-0610
Invitations: Out of the Box, 914-934-2323
Favors: CorbinStyle, 914-329-4160
DJ: Angel Morales/ESP Productions, 631-777-4ESP
Photographer: January Stewart, 212-851-6300
Montage: Little Birdy Productions

Brynne Magaziner is the owner and Chief Magic Maker of Pop Color Events, a boutique event planning firm specializing in Bar Mitzvah & Bat Mitzvah event planning in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. Visit www.popcolorevents.com for more information.

Mitzvah Market - Bar/Bat Mitzvah Planning ResourceGet a copy of Mitzvah Market Magazine here.

 
Posted in Mitzvah Spotlight, Family and tagged , .