About the Book
About the Authors
The authors of this fine guidebook offer Jewish history,
advice, recipes, planning tools, and more. Putting the mitzvah into
Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Cohen and Weinrott pepper their book with ways to refine
and improve The Big Day.
Each chapter in the book includes a detailed description
of the procedures and expectations of every part of the ritual –
what to anticipate from the synagogue and the various aspects of the
celebration. There are checklists for determining the proper space for
one’s reception hall and guests, as well as what questions to
ask the florists, caterers and entertainers as parents make the party
Wisely, the authors include personal stories that relate
the experiences of various Bar/Bat Mitzvahs putting every facet of the
ceremony into perspective. Several of these examples come from the Philadelphia
area, as Cohen and Weinrott have organized many celebrations locally.
The authors also provide some very good advice about keeping
tradition and ritual part of the ceremony so that the meaning of the
vent is not lost either on the Bar/Bat mitzvah or on the attendees.
Cohen and Weinrott emphasize that the focus should be the service, not
the celebration. This is not to say that the party is unimportant; rather
that the meaning will be in what the Bar/Bat Mitzvah does to personalize
As such, perhaps the best suggestions made in The Ultimate
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebrations Book involve performing mitzvahs. There
are some excellent recommendations, such as “twining” (linking
a child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah experience with those of people in other
countries) or tutoring kids at a school, for carrying the tradition
of learning forward. These thoughts, about how to give back to the community
are perhaps the most welcome advice.
Moreover, the authors emphasize that this important rite of passage if not just about finding the most appropriate way to celebrate; it means becoming a member of the Jewish community, and upholding all of the responsibilities that entails. For this message, The Ultimate bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebration Book is truly worth celebrating.