The Ultimate Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebration Book by Jayne Cohen and Lori Weinrott
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B’nai Mitzvah and Jewish Weddings
November, 2004

Stars that Make a Party Sparkle
Every bar/bat mitzvah needs a bit of sparkle in the choice of a menu, a theme, a ritual or a look. It’s that extra oomph, that "ruach" (spirit!) that makes the party shine. Here are a few fun, wide-ranging ideas from our book, to inspire you:

Kid-Friendly Décor that’s Comfortable
Create a cool kid’s area with rugs, comfy chairs and tables just high enough for oversized pillow seating. For colors and themes, think shaggy yellow and orange beanbags for a 60s style Daniel and the Lion’s Den, smoky blue and brassy with congas and cool shades for jazzy-clubby, hot pink and Chinese red with tabletop lanterns and Mahjong tiles for Asian.

Share Traditions that Create Beautiful Moments
Taking a cue from an old Syrian custom, have your child make a memorable entrance, escorted into the darkened celebration space by friends holding votives to illumine the path. Or twist fragrant lilacs around the chair that will hold your daughter for the Ashkenazi chair dance.

Unique & Fun Entertainment & Themes
How about a stilt walker for a golem motif? A character actor masquerading as the town matchmaker or as a Torah scribe turned handwriting analyst? A fruit carver delighting kids with fancy mango flowers? A "Who’s got Soul" dance contest? For an ice hockey lover, an NHL theme (the National Hebrew League), with the bar mitzvah boy as star player. His "goal" this year- his Hebrew studies. Tablecloths with goalie net overlays, dance motivators in jerseys emblazoned with names like Mazel and Tov, David and Goliath. God as the goalie, with "shin" guards. A "Stanley Cup" Kiddush.

Mitzvah Project Centerpieces
For donations to a charity called "Shoes That Fit," assemble bright flower bouquets into small vases and tuck them inside shiny kids’ rain boots in primary colors. Leave a little card on the table describing the mitzvah project to your guests. Use pyramids of Campbell’s soup cans (destined for a food bank) accented with little bouquets of red and white zinnias set in empty matching soup cans as vases.

Dazzling Food Presentation
Think thematic decorative buffets, such as a "Creation" menu with stations for Ocean (fish), Earth (potatoes and grains), Garden of Eden (salads) and Heaven (dessert, of course!). Serve food from old-fashioned pushcarts—bagels, bialys and soft pretzels in shapes of Stars of David, French fries in paper cones, or Belgian waffles with gourmet ice creams served from a hand-cranked ice cream maker.

The Ultimate Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebration Book
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