Temple Israel Helps Families Plan for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs
The temple held its first "Simcha" on Sunday with tips on how to plan and vendors selling their products and services.
It translates to "happy event" but organizers at Temple Israel say its first Simcha Fair is far more than that–it's providing guidance for some of the most formative events in the Judaic religion. The Temple's first "Simcha" on Sunday featured 20 vendors eager to help the area's Jewish population plan for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, and baby namings.
Several kosher caterers, photographers, entertainment producers, party favors and stationery companies set up at various booths as parents and kids each drew inspiration and idea for their next big thing.
Temple organizer Howard Schreiber explained why this type of showcase is necessary.
"To plan a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, you can get overwhelmed with details," Schreiber said. "People don't know where to go and where to turn first after the actual religious ceremony. This way it gives them a starting off point."
Schreiber said that many post-parties are held right in the Temple and while some are glitzy, keeping with the Conservative tradition of the Temple is important. Parties can be held all over, however, and most require a lot of advanced planning, he said.
One woman explained that she was here looking for ideas for her son's March 2012 Bar Mitzvah and she'd been told by a vendor that she really doesn't have a lot of time left to spare. She said she knows what her son wants now–that he'd like to go up to a spa in Vernon with a few friends for his party–but that could change if he becomes less shy and discovers girls by next year.
"I want a lot of music and dancing and picture taking," said 12-year-old Danielle as she described her own perfect Bat Mitzvah.
Danielle was here with her parents, Deborah and Ron, and an all-purpose entertainment representative was promoting his wares, talking prices but noting that there's room for negotiation.
Another couple, Steven and Emily have a son, Vlad who will be Bar Mitzvah next November.
"We're from Russia," Emily said. "If we were there now, nevermind Bar Mitzvah, Vlad wouldn't even have been circumsized."
Many younger kids–perhaps kid brothers and sisters–clustered around a comedian performed while adults saw a party favor company show off backpacks that could hold headphones and MP3 players.
Johanna Resnick Rosen, a local photographer, flipped through a folder and explained that there's an art to getting the right shot. Ari of Kosher Nosh in Glen Rock said that his company can provide everything from a simple Kiddush to a sit down affair.
As the fair went on and parents collected literature and enjoyed bagels and chocolate-dipped strawberries, Bar and Bat Mitzvah boys and girls were getting a little restless. Unlike their parents, they roamed the floor kidding around and looking like the last thing on their minds was their big day.