The Ethan Berman Bar Mitzvah Family Spotlight

The Ethan Berman Bar Mitzvah Family Spotlight


The Berman family of Westfield, New Jersey, celebrated son Ethan’s Bar Mitzvah on October 18, 2014, at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield, New Jersey, and a reception later that evening at The Crystal Plaza in Livingston, New Jersey.

Ethan, who is an actor and enjoys making movies, editing films and playing the guitar, chose the “13th Annual Ethan Awards,” as his Bar Mitzvah theme.

There were many star-studded details including a very special candle lighting ceremony.

Pictured L-R: Dad Stuart, Sister Ava Rose, Bar Mitzvah boy Ethan, Mom Shari, Brothers Gavin and Aidan.

The photographer was Sarah Merians Photography & Video and the rest of the vendor information is listed at the end of the spotlight.









The family worked with Julie Maloof Designs on double-sided invitation with the service information on one side and the evening celebration on the other.


 Berman Invitation
The color palette, royal blue, black and silver, was also used in the party decor 

Berman invite liner

Black and silver words, meaningful to Ethan, decorated the inside of the envelope liner




 Ethan made his family and friends very proud on the Bimah.  After the service, there was a beautiful Kiddush luncheon at The James Ward Mansion in Westfield, New Jersey.


 Ethan Berman service
Ethan posed between his proud parents

Ethan Berman moment
A gift from brother Gavin after the service

Berman kiddush

The kiddush luncheon at The James Ward Mansion





This family was dressed to walk the red carpet! Mom Shari looked elegant in her gown from Barney’s New York. Sister Ava’s royal blue cocktail dress was from Princess Charming. Dad Stuart’s outfit was from Nordstrom. Bar Mitzvah boy Ethan and brother Aidan’s outfits were from Sam’s Fine Mens Clothing and brother Gavin looked awesome in his outfit from Lester’s.



Berman style





 Debbie and Iris of Debbie’s Designs, brought Hollywood-style to New Jersey with fun and festive decor.



Berman venue
The entrance of the Crystal Plaza had search lights like a movie premiere

 Ethank Berman signage

 Signage directed guests upstairs

 Berman place card signage

 The theme was evident as guests arrived. A large over-sized envelope included all of Ethan’s hobbies and activities


Ethank Berman place card table
The place card table was star-studded

Ethan Berman dance floor 
Ethan’s star on the dance floor shined bright throughout the night

 Ethan Berman lounge decor
The royal blue serpentine couch and director’s chairs offered guests great seating options

 Ethan Berman table decor

 The adult tables were named after some of Ethan’s favorite movies such as “Grown Ups”




 There were many award-winning details at the party including this mail box from Simon Elliot Events, where guests “mailed” their gifts for Ethan. 



Ethan Berman gift card mail box

Pictures taken from Ethan’s pre-shoot, with Sarah Merians Photography and Video, wrapped the mailbox

 Berman drink signage

Themed drink names included “The Red Carpet” and “The Director”

Ethan Berman details mini light

 A movie reel lamp shade added decor detail to the place card table 

Ethan Berman cocktail napkins

 Cocktail napkins worthy of a star




 The sign-in was a director’s chair of course, which now sits in Ethan’s bedroom.



Ethan Berman sign in






MC Bijan and the Unique Musique Entertainment dance team had everyone on their feet and dancing all night.



 Berman entrance2
Ethan made his entrance on a Vespa with a thumbs up!

Berman horah

 Ethan up in the chair for the Horah

Berman horah

Never too young for the Horah, right Gavin?

 Ethan Berman dj

 Dad Stuart fell into the Mitzvah mosh pit




Mom Shari hired Simon Elliot Events who provided amazing entertainment including a customized paparazzi photo booth where guests could pose on the red carpet and print a “selfie.” There was also a great screen printing booth.



 Ethank Berman fun
Customized “Superstar” Photo Booth

Berman selfie booth
The Selfie Photo Booth was a huge hit

Berman shirts
Mom Shari and brother Aidan had shirts printed from the Behind the Screens custom t-shirt printing booth





 Ethan, the star of the night, called up family and friends to hand out custom “Ethan” statuettes, similar to the Oscars. Ethan wrote poems for each award recipient and ended each with “And the Ethan Award goes to….” When each recipient or recipients were announced the DJ played a song from a movie soundtrack.



Ethan Berman statuettes
The “Ethan” statuette was created with the help of David Bruner, the owner of Size Stream, a 3d body measurement technology company who created 3D images of Ethan. Two additional companies participated in the final production, Shapeways and A Custom Apparel

Berman candle lighting

 How could Ethan host the “13th Annual Ethan Awards” without an Ethan award?


berman candle lighting
And the Ethan Award for “Best younger siblings” goes to… Aiden, Ava and Gavin!

Berman friends candle lighting 
In the best friends category, “the award goes to…” Ethan’s friends!





 The Crystal Plaza made a 4-tiered red carpet cake.



Berman candle lighting2





 The Bermans worked with Julie Fermaglich of SWISH on the amazing SWAG! Ethan’s friends received hoodie buddie sweatshirts and film tins filled with movie theater candy!


Ethan Berman movie reel candy favor
Everything you need for movie night

Ethan Berman movie favor front
The front

Ethan Berman movie favor
The back included  Ethan’s logo and Bar Mitzvah date info





At the end of the night, the Bermans’ guests left with lots of sweet treats from a candy truck waiting for them!




Ethan Berman red carpet

Guests walked the red carpet one last time

 Berman candy bags

 The custom label for the candy bags read:
“Ethan’s Bar Mitzvah
It’s a Rap!!!!!”

 Ethan Berman Mitzvah exit

 A truck filled with candy as an exit treat

Berman personalized waters

Personalized water bottles displayed on the candy truck





 For Ethan’s Bar Mitzvah project he asked guests to help an organization called the Mandy Reichman Feeding Program. Included in his invitation was the information asking guests to bring items that are needed by the organization.

 Ethan Berman Mitzvah Project

  Ethan Berman mitzvah project

 Ethan posing for a picture taking a break from packing sandwiches





 Some advice from Mom Shari:
“The best advice I can give is to focus on making the day meaningful from the get-go. This includes helping your child choose a Mitzvah Project to your guest list, from the words you say about your child on the bimah to the special touches that you add for their celebration that is a reflection of them. Remember that this is your child’s special day, and make them a part of the process – to the extent they are interested, be a part of their learning, and make it a joyful celebration of them. Of course, it helps to be organized. Although I tend to use my iPhone all the time, I went old-school for this occasion, and early on purchased a binder where I kept all of the contracts organized in separate tabs by vendor. I was able to quickly review what I needed when the time came. Also, I found it was helpful to have a good friend or two, a few months ahead of me. As they did certain things, I did them. There are certain things that can’t be done ahead of time and unfortunately have to wait until the last two weeks, so focus on the things you can do (like ordering kippahs, picking out favors, beginning your program – if you are doing one, going through your hundreds/thousands of photos for your montage, figuring out centerpieces and décor, thinking about songs you want the DJ to play, etc.) The more you do in advance, the more relaxed you’ll feel in the hectic weeks leading up to the day. Finally, remember to enjoy the process. Don’t lose sight of the fact that this is a beautiful and once-in-a-lifetime event for your child. During the service, step back and actually watch your child chant from Torah. It’s incredibly moving. At the celebration, when you are called into the room, take a moment to look around the room and see the smiling faces on the special people in your life who are there to celebrate your child becoming a Bar/Bat mitzvah. There are few opportunities in life to bring all of these people from all walks of your, your child and your family’s life into one room for such a happy occasion. Above all forget all of the planning you did, and just have fun with your child, immediate family, extended family and friends – all of whom are there to celebrate this Mitzvah with you.”



Here is the list of vendors who made Ethan’s party special. If you call any, please make sure you tell them that you read about their services on

Venue/Security: Crystal Plaza, 973-992-8100
Photographer/Videographer: Sarah Merian’s Photography & Video Company, 212-633-0502
Party Planner: Mom Shari
Music Entertainment: Larry Gold, MC Bijan, Unique Musique, 800-556-6535
Décor/florist: Debbie’s-Designs, 973-696-7930
Favors/Logo Design/Dancer t-shirts
: Julie Fermaglich, SWISH, 917-714-8357
Ethan Award Statuettes: David Bruner, Size Stream
Additional Ethan Award Production: Shapeways, A Custom Apparel
Candy/personalized waters/hotel bags
: Andrea Festa, Sugar Rush, 973-632-8240
Photo Booth/Mailbox: Simon Elliot Events, 516-586-6822
Invitation: Julia Maloof Designs, 973-615-6952
Cake: Crystal Plaza, 973-992-8100
director’s chair: Debbie’s-Designs, 973-696-7930
Jenny Herrero, Storyteller Productions, 914-923-3595
Entrance Video
: Bob Anthony Productions, 732-914-1949
Dresses for Mom Shari
: Barney’s New York
Dresses for sister Ava: Princess Charming, 973-325-1419
Dad’s suit: Nordstrom
Ethan and Aidan suits, Sam’s Clothing, 973-422-1000
Little brother Gavin, Lester’s
Hair: Lisa Fedorochko Saturday am and Ava/Katelyn Padden/Saturday pm, Charles Salon, 908-889-5008
Transportation: Academy Buses
Kiddush luncheon venue: The James Ward Mansion, 908-389-0014
Kiddush Caterer: Alan Perl, Ultimate Caterer, 732-577-0490
Kippahs: Klipped Kippahs








Posted in Mitzvah Spotlight, Family