5 months





Diary of a Bat Mitzvah
Planning Parent


5 Months to the Big Day …

We decided to spend the first days
of Pesach, including the Seder, at the Neve Ilan Guesthouse, which is where
we had celebrated our son’s Bar Mitzvah. The rooms are modern, the grounds
are spacious and we love the Judean Hills. And we decided to head south to
the Negev area for the midweek days of Pesach where we’d be able to hike
and ride camels, rappel, and snorkel in Eilat. Okay, decisions were finally
being made and only one was left – where to hold the actual Bat Mitzvah.


Maybe after all, Jerusalem would be the best location – for many obvious
reasons including its religious, spiritual and historical centrality to our
lives as Jews. I’ve always loved the view from the rooftop of Beit Shmuel,
a youth hostel located in the Hebrew Union College Building on King David
Street. The rooftop overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem and is set up for
Bnai Mitzvah events. I e-mailed Beit Shmuel checking on availability of dates,
and found that our date was already booked. So we moved onto the next plan.


Now it began to make sense to go down to the Negev area for the Bat Mitzvah
too.  But where to find a Sefer Torah and a place to actually have the
service

itself? It turned out that Kibbutz Sde
Boker
, a thriving kibbutz in the Negev, and once the desert home of

David and Paula Ben Gurion, has a synagogue available for Bnai Mitzvah events
and can host a festive brunch for us. And so we’ve begun notifying friends
and relatives to save the date and to join us for a simcha at the kibbutz.
Now we’re negotiating whether to take everyone on a desert tour, rappelling,
or camel riding after the party.

Maybe after all,
Jerusalem would be the best location – for many obvious reasons including
its religious, spiritual and historical centrality to our lives as Jews.
I’ve always loved the view from the rooftop of Beit Shmuel, a youth hostel
located in the Hebrew Union College Building on King David Street. The rooftop

overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem and is set up for Bnai Mitzvah events.
I e-mailed Beit Shmuel checking on availability of dates, and found that
our date

was already booked. So we moved onto the next plan.


Now it began to make sense to go down to the Negev area for the Bat Mitzvah
too.  But where to find a Sefer Torah and a place to actually have the
service

itself? It turned out that Kibbutz Sde
Boker
, a thriving kibbutz in the Negev, and once the desert home of David
and Paula Ben Gurion, has a synagogue available for Bnai Mitzvah events and
can host a festive brunch for us. And so we’ve begun notifying friends and
relatives to save the date and to join us for a simcha at the kibbutz. Now
we’re negotiating whether to take everyone on a desert tour, rappelling,
or camel riding after the party.


After making what I thought were fantastic plans for a meaningful and original
Bat Mitzvah, the plan went before the chairgirl of the board of directors.
After listening to our ideas, she told us is that for her mitzvah project,
my daughter, an avid swimmer, wants to participate in an ecology project
to clean up the beaches and waters of Eilat
But more on that next month …



Text by Deborah Rosenbloom




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