The Cortell Bar Mitzvah Family Spotlight | MitzvahMarket | MitzvahMarket

The Cortell Bar Mitzvah Family Spotlight

The Cortell Bar Mitzvah Family Spotlight

The Cortell family from Connecticut was looking forward to celebrating their son Sam’s Bar Mitzvah on October 29, 2011 at Space in Englewood, New Jersey.

Their day started as planned with a Temple service in the morning followed by a kiddush luncheon. The unexpected snow storm that hit that day forced them to cancel their evening celebration. They rescheduled with Space and celebrated on November 26, 2011 – almost 1 month later.

As you will see from their spotlight, it was worth the wait!

Party photography was by Adam Milt and the rest of the vendors are listed at the bottom of the spotlight.

Pictured above L-R: Mom Doreen, sister Madi, Bar Mitzvah boy Sam, brother Blake and Dad Gary




Mom Doreen’s sister is Darlene Barzilay from Notes Etc. who created their invitations.



Cortell invitation
The metal square invitation with a foil stamped monogram liner and silver paper accessories featured navy ink




Although the Cortells live in Connecticut, their son fell in love with the venue Space so they decided to hire a bus and transport their young guests. Once their friends attended their celebration they understood why they came to New Jersey!

Space new logo

Elvira, the owner of Space received this note after the Cortells party:
“Three weeks have passed and we are still receiving calls, emails, letters….it just hasn’t stopped! The party was amazing. From our 1 year old guest to our 93 year old guest, from beginning to the end, the fun just never stopped. I have never seen anything like it nor did anyone that attended. Our son, had the time of his life and so did everyone else …we have all the pictures to prove it. Friends of ours have spent 10x the money and couldn’t touch what you put on for us! It was everything you said it would be and more. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
–Doreen and Gary Cortell


Stamp - Mitzvah Decor


Space provides many services for any Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration including party planning and designing all the decor!



Cortell decor






The first time we reported on this sign-in idea, it was in the Barzilay Mitzvah Family Spotlight! Darlene Barzilay is Sam’s aunt – we wonder where they got the idea?!


Cortell sign-in

Using Sam’s closet door which was painted silver to match their invitation, guests used a sharpie and wrote special messages

Cortell sign in

Now the closet door is back in Sam’s room


Stamp - Mitzvah Music


Space also provided the music and MC!



Cortell Make An Entrance

Sam makes his entrance

Cortell dj
Sam’s friends having fun!

Cortell dj

Guests on the spacious dance floor

Cortell dj

The MC works the crowd

Cortell dj

Sam and his friends





What makes Space a unique venue is the built-in fun!



Cortell fun

There’s a full array of games in their arcade

Cortell fun


Cortell fun

Cortell fun

An aerial performer wowed guests during their celebration

Cortell fun




Sam’s Dad Gary, a television producer, created his montage. They cleverly worked in the blizzard and cancellation of Sam’s first celebration by making Sam a reporter with SPC World News!


Cortell Montage

Watch it here




Sam loves legos and as a surprise, his parents commissioned his portrait done in lego which hung at the party.



Cortell leggo




Sam asked to add something to his spotlight story: “On October 29, it started snowing. When we got home from the service, it was snowing so heavily we were even stuck in the road from a tree that had fallen! People were already canceling. When my Mom and Dad told me the news, I couldn’t believe it. But, I understood because the snow was really bad. On November 26, I finally was able to experience my party, and it was worth the wait! I had the best time of my life, and it’s all thanks to my Mom and Dad. They put so much time and effort into planing and rescheduling this party. Love you guys!”

There were many special moments during Sam’s celebration.



Cortell Moment
Mom Doreen and Sam share a special dance

Cortell special sister dance

Sam’s sister Madi wanted to do something special for Sam’s Bar Mitzvah, so she choreographed a dance and performed it for him at the party


Stamp - Mitzvah Cake


A cake featuring many of Sam’s favorite things was made by Rachel Martin.



Cortell cake




Amerasport Inc. created the sweatshirt favors for the young guests and water bottles for everyone else. Guests were able to fill the bottles with candy from the candy table at the end of the night.


Cortell favor

Cortell water bottle




After being very disappointed on October 29th and having to cancel their celebration, Mom Doreen can look back and give us all some advice:

“Things always have a way of working themselves out! It’s a lot of work & planning but know that it all somehow comes together in the end. With all your planning have fun and never forget what it is really all about, your son or daughter and at the end of the day this will be their night and the ‘best night of their lives.'”


Stamp - Mitzvah Project Idea


For Sam’s Mitzvah Project, he sold sea turtles with all the profits going to World Wildlife Foundation to help sea animals affected by dangerous oil spills.


Stamp Vendor's Directory


The following vendors helped to make Sam’s Bar Mitzvah special. If you give any of them a call, please let them know you read about their services on


Venue/Party Planner: Space Odyssey USA, 201-567-3810
Music Entertainment: Space Odyssey USA
Favors (sweatshirts/water bottles): Amerasport Inc.
Photographer: Adam Milt
Party entertainment: Aerialist provided by Space
Invitation: Darlene Barzilay, 516-681-4602, [email protected]
Cake: Rachel Martin, [email protected]
Décor/florist: Space
Sign-In board: Sam’s closet door that Mom Doreen spray painted silver to match the invitation
Montage: Dad Gary
Gift: Sean Kenney, Lego portrait
Moms Dress: Vintage dress that was her Mom’s
Madison’s Dress: A Step Ahead, Stamford, Ct
Footwear: All three kids wore converse sneakers


Posted in Mitzvah Spotlight, Family