Klezmer Swing Orchestra offers klezmer music for Jewish wedding and Bar Mitzvah

L’orchestre pour mariage juif Amsellem Swing Klezmer Orchestra joue des horot (Mazel Tov, Siman Tov…) pour animer cocktail de mariage, de Bar Mitzvah, cérémonie, Houppa et réceptions.
Les plus belles horas jouées par notre orchestre.

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Becoming a Bat Mitzvah – About.com Religion & Spirituality

By Ariela Pelaia

Bat Mitzvah literally translates as “daughter of commandment.” The word “bat” means “daughter” in Aramaic, which was the commonly spoken vernacular language of the Jewish people (and much of the Middle East) from around 500 B.C.E. to 400 C.E. The word “mitzvah” is Hebrew for “commandment.” The term “bat mitzvah” refers to two things: it is used to describe a girl when she comes of age at 12-years-old and also refers to the religious ceremony in more liberal Jewish communities that accompanies a girl becoming a Bat Mitzvah. Often a celebratory party will follow the ceremony and that party is also called a bat mitzvah.

This article discusses what it means for a Jewish girl to “become a Bat Mitzvah.” For information about the Bat Mitzvah ceremony or celebration please read: “What Is a Bat Mitzvah?”

When a Jewish girl turns 12-years-old she becomes a “bat mitzvah,” whether or not the event is marked with a ceremony or celebration.

According to Jewish custom this means that she is considered old enough to have certain rights and responsibilities. These include:

Many Jews talk about becoming a bar mitzvah as “becoming a man” and becoming a bat mitzvah as “becoming a woman,” but this is not correct. A Jewish girl who has become a bat mitzvah has many of the rights and responsibilities of a Jewish adult (see above), but she is not considered an adult in the full sense of the word yet. Jewish tradition makes this abundantly clear. For instance, in Mishnah Avot 5:21 13-years-old is listed as the age of responsibility for the mitzvot, but the age for marriage is set at 18-years-old and the age for earning a living at 20-years-old. Hence, a bat mitzvah is not a full-fledged adult yet, but Jewish tradition recognizes this age as the point when a child can differentiate between right and wrong and hence can be held accountable for his actions.

One way to think about becoming bat mitzvah in Jewish culture is to think about the way secular culture treats teens and children differently. A teenager below the age of 18 does not have all of the legal rights and responsibilities of a full adult, but she is treated differently than younger children. For instance, in most U.S. states children can legally work part-time once they are 14-years-old. Similarly, in many states children younger than 18 can marry with special parental and/or judicial consent. Children in their teens can also be treated as adults in criminal proceedings depending on the circumstance of the crime.

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Israel Kristal, world’s oldest man to mark Bar Mitzvah at 113 …

Kristal, who was born in Poland in 1903, began learning Hebrew at the age of three, and studying the Mishna, or Jewish laws, at six.

But he missed out on the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony, traditionally marked when a boy turns 13, because of World War I.

His daughter, Shulamith Kristal-Kuperstoch, told CNN that Kristal’s long-delayed bar mitzvah would be held close to his Hebrew birthday, which falls this year on October 2.

Kristal-Kuperstoch said it would be a “privilege” for her to organize the upcoming ceremony for her father, as a way of correcting the past, and as a gift to him.

As a young man, Kristal married and had two children, but the family was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp from the Lodz ghetto during World War II, and his wife and children died there.

Kristal survived the Holocaust, and moved to Israel with his second wife in 1950.

The retired confectioner now has a large family, including grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His bar mitzvah will be held at the family’s local synagogue in Haifa.

When he was named the world’s oldest man, Kristal insisted, “I don’t know the secret for long life.”

“There have been smarter, stronger and better-looking men then me who are no longer alive,” he said. “All that is left for us to do is to keep on working as hard as we can and rebuild what is lost.”

CNN’s Richard Greene contributed to this article.

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World’s Oldest Man Is Finally Getting His Bar Mitzvah At Age …

In September 1916, a 13-year-old Yisrael Kristal missed out on having a bar mitzvahceremony. But today, hes finally getting the celebration he never had, albeit 100 years later.

Kristal, who turned 113 today and has been named theworlds oldest living manby Guinness World records, will celebrate with family and friends in Haifa, Israel, two weeks from now.

His daughter tells BBC News the family hopes the party will be a corrective experience.

We are excited, were happy, it is a great honour to celebrate his bar mitzvah. He has children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and cousins and everyone is coming,Shulamit Kuperstoch said.

Back in 1916, Kristal missed out on his ceremony after his mother died and his father was drafted into the Russian army. He survived World War I and then internment in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. He lost his first wife and their two children in the Holocaust and later moved to Israel.

He re-married and has grown a family and continued the family confectionery business until his retirement.

Kristal said earlier this year that he doesnt know the secret to longevity but believes in the power of resilience.

I believe that everything is determined from above and we shall never know the reasons why, he told Guinness World Records. There have been smarter, stronger and better looking men then me who are no longer alive. All that is left for us to do is to keep on working as hard as we can and rebuild what is lost.

Earlier this year, a group of 50 Holocaust survivors similarly celebrated their missed bar mitzvahs decades later.

Heres wishing you a very happy bar mitzvah, Yisrael. Mazel tov!

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Bar mitzvah party-flasher case: Arizona yoga instructor …

Lindsey Ann Radomski, the Scottsdale yoga instructor accused of indecent acts with boys at a bar mitzvah party, has been found not guilty on all counts.

[Epic bar mitzvah party produces epic trial and bizarre defense]

Radomski, who was 32 in March, 2015, when the party occurred, was accused in misdemeanor counts of flashing her newly enhanced breasts to seven boys, ranging in age from 11 to 15, letting them fondle them and of administering oral sex to one of theboys.

The party was held at the home of her employer at a Scottsdale yoga studio.

It attracted attention (and a lot of wisecracking about bar mitzvah gifts) nationally and even internationally because of the setting and circumstances.

Lindsey Ann Radomski (Maricopa County Sheriff)

During an unusually long trial for misdemeanor charges, sevenweeks, Radomski testified that while she remembered flashing her breasts at the party, she remembered little else. She was drunk and blacked out, she said.

The boys, in their testimony, and the prosecutor in her closing arguments, said Radomski invited their advances, boasting about her augmented breasts, lifting her shirt and responding to ones question (what did they feel like?) with an invitation to go ahead and find out.

Her lawyers argued, among other things, that the boys attacked Radomski while she was drunk and suggested, without demonstrating it as fact, that someone at the party had slipped her a date rape drug, GHB.

She was drugged, her lawyer, Jocquese Blackwell, declared during closing arguments this week.She passed out and went to sleep. In this case, Lindsey Radomski is the one whos being charged when she was the one who was attacked.

Blackwell also argued that she was wearing pasties on her breasts, a cover, however small, that under Arizona law makes the exposure not indecent as long as they shield her areolae from view.

If an individual lady is wearing pasties, stick-on pasties . . .that individual can walk down the street in Scottsdale or any other street in America, said Blackwell during his closing arguments, and its not illegal.

As no pasties were found at the scene of the party, the jury pored over an image of Radomski at the bar mitzvahlooking for signs of them.

While the defenses theory seemed to many bizarre, it apparently raised sufficient doubt in the minds of the jury to acquit her.

It deliberated only a few hours before doing so Wednesday.

It was one of the more unusual moments at an altogether unusual trial, in part because of its length, longer than the George Zimmerman trial, for example, and as long, not counting jury selection, as the trial of former Virginia governorRobert F. McDonnell, and in part because of its subject matter.

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Arizona woman accused of flashing underage boys at bar …

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. A jury on Wednesday acquitted an Arizona woman accused of flashing underage boys at a bar mitzvah last year and performing a sex act on one of the teens.

Lindsey Ann Radomski was found not guilty on all 18 misdemeanor counts. Radomski, 34, cried and hugged her attorneys after the verdict was read by a Scottsdale City Court judge.

The jury got the case late Tuesday afternoon after a nearly seven-week trial.

“I’m just incredibly happy it’s over. Thank God,” Radomski said outside the courthouse.

She faced a sentence of up to six months in jail, a $2,500 fine and three years’ probation if convicted.

Radomski was arrested in March 2015 on charges including public sexual indecency with contact and contributing to the delinquency of a child.

A grand jury refused to indict her on felony charges because of a lack of evidence.

Police said the yoga instructor invited seven boys ages 11 to 15 into a bedroom at a bar mitzvah and flashed her newly augmented breasts.

She reportedly allowed the boys to fondle her breasts and then allegedly performed a sex act on a 15-year-old boy.

Radomski said she was drinking that night and doesn’t remember what happened. Her attorney said she was drugged while at the event, and she actually was the victim and the boys sexually assaulted her.

Prosecutors said Radomski may have been drunk at the bar mitzvah, but she still should be held responsible for her actions.

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Bar & Bat Mitzvah Invitations and accessories | eInvite …

Your Exclusive Source for Bar Mitzvah Invitations and Bat Mitzvah Invitations Online

A milestone occasion like a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah deserves to be announced in a memorable way. With personalized Bar Mitzvah invitations and Bat Mitzvah invitations from eInvite, youll be able to create beautiful invitations that perfectly match the spirit of your exciting event.

When you choose eInvite, youre always in total control. Choose from our exclusive selection of predesigned Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah invitations that can be personalized to fit your taste, by choosing from hundreds of type styles, ink colors, designs and more.

Bar Mitzvah Invitations and Bat Mitzvah Invitations in All Styles

At eInvite, we believe invitations should reflect the personality and style of the person sending them. They should make a statement about who you are as a person and where youre going. Thats why we offer Bar Mitzvah invitations and Bat Mitzvah invitations in all styles. Whether youre looking for a traditional design or something a bit more modern, we have the perfect look to fit your taste.

By Your Side Every Step of the Way

At eInvite, we do more than just sell Bar Mitzvah invitations and Bat Mitzvah invitations. We offer personal service to help make sure your event is announced in style. Whether you need help with the wording of your invitations or you have a question about invitation etiquette, count on the professional, friendly team at eInvite to assist you every step of the way!

Start Sharing the Joy Today

Youre preparing to celebrate a once in a lifetime event. Make sure you announce it in style! Order your Bar Mitzvah invitations and Bat Mitzvah invitations today.

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The First Bat Mitzvah in the United States | Jewish …

On Saturday morning, March 18, 1922, twelve-year old Judith Kaplan, the daughter of Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan, stepped forward and stood just below the bimah at her fathers synagogue – the Society for the Advancement of Judaism in New York City. With the Torah scroll covered but in sight, Judith recited the preliminary blessing, read a portion of the Torah in Hebrew and English from her personal Chumash and then intoned the closing blessing.

“That was enough to shock a lot of people,” she later recalled, “including my own grandparents and aunts and uncles.”

The shocking event they had just witnessed, according to historian Paula Hyman, was the first bat mitzvah conducted in the United States. Reflecting on her historic moment, Kaplan observed, “No thunder sounded. No lightning struck.” Rather, Judith Kaplan and her father, founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, set the model for what has now become a widespread American Jewish practice.

As Hyman notes, “The bat mitzvah ritual was introduced into American Judaism as both an ethical and pragmatic response to gender divisions in traditional Judaism.” In Jewish law, a girl reaches majority at age 12, but until the invention of bat mitzvah there was no ritual ceremony to mark this passage. Mordecai Kaplan intended bat mitzvah to give females equal standing with males and stimulate Jewish education for women so they would be better able to transmit Jewish knowledge to their children.

While it started with Reconstructionism, Hyman attributes the further evolution of bat mitzvah to the American Conservative movement. In the mid-19th century, American Reform began moving away from traditional ceremonies such as male bar mitzvah. Instead, Reform congregations introduced group confirmation ceremonies when the boys and girls in their religious schools completed their education, around age 15. Confirmation, then, was more of a graduation ceremony than a bar mitzvah. Traditional Orthodoxy did not allow women to read the Torah. Thus, if girls of 12 or 13 were to have a coming-of-age ceremony equivalent to bar mitzvah for boys, it fell to the Conservative Movement to define what that ceremony should be.

Change came gradually. As late as the 1930s, despite Judith Kaplans pathbreaking example, only a handful of Conservative synagogues had adopted bat mitzvah. By 1948, however, one-third of Conservative congregations conducted them and, by the 1960s, the ceremony became the norm within Conservatism.

The earliest American bat mitzvot were, ritually, not quite the same as bar mitzvot. They were usually held on Friday nights, when the Torah is not read or, if held on Saturday morning like Judith Kaplans, the bat mitzvah girl would read from a printed humash, or book containing the Bible, rather than from the Torah scroll itself.

The first recorded bat mitzvah at a Reform congregation occurred in 1931 but, as with the Conservative movement, the ritual did not catch on right away. By the 1950s, only one third of Reform congregations conducted them. Since the 1960s, as Reform has placed increasing emphasis on traditional rituals, bat mitzvah has grown to near universality in that movements congregations. A number of modern Orthodox congregations have now adopted some form of bat mitzvah as well. Bat mitzvah, an innovation in 1922, is now an American Jewish institution.

The introduction of bat mitzvah, which was originally meant only to mark the passage from Jewish girlhood to Jewish womanhood, raised a series of issues. As Paula Hyman puts it, “How could a girl be called to Torah as a bat mitzvah and then never have such an honor again?” Both Reform and Conservativism grappled with this problem and, by the 1970s, a majority of congregations in both movements called women to the Torah.

If no thunder sounded when 12-year old Judith Kaplan read at the bimah of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, Kaplan herself went on to make a joyful noise of her own. A brilliant child who learned to read English at age 2 and Hebrew at age 3, she studied at what is now the Juilliard School of Music from ages 7 to 18. She received her B.A. (1928) and M.A. (1932) in music education from Columbia University Teachers College. In 1934, Kaplan married Ira Eisenstein, then assistant rabbi in her fathers synagogue.

As Judith Eisenstein, she began a distinguished career as a teacher of musical pedagogy and the history of Jewish music at the Jewish Theological Seminary of Americas Teachers Institute. In 1959, at age 50, Eisenstein entered the School of Sacred Music of Hebrew Union College, obtained her Ph.D. and remained as a member of the faculty until 1979. By the time of her death in 1996, she had composed a significant body of original liturgical music, created and broadcast a thirteen-hour radio series on the history of Jewish music and authored a number of books, including the first American Jewish songbook for children (1937).

Of course, her monumental “first” remains her own bat mitzvah.

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Bar mitzvah cards, check amounts, and gift cards Bar & Bat …

By Elyse Wanshel

Community Newspaper Group

There are things in life that are truly baffling memorizing the all the digits of Pi, Rubik cubes, how Rachel Ray became so popular. Yet, what seems to send most non-Jewish guests who have been invited to a bar or bat mitzvah deepest into the land of bewilderment is the ever-elusive bar mitzvah card. What should you say in a card? How much should you give if writing a check? Is writing a check okay? Would a kid rather get a gift card? What kind of gift card? And is there really anything worst than getting a gift card for Apple Bees (yes, Rachel Rays cooking)?

We break down some frequently asked questions so non-Jewish guests can relax and concentrate on more important things, like brushing up on their Yiddish (just kidding):

Question: What kind of card do I buy for a bar or bat mitzvah? Do they sell bar mitzvah cards at the drugstore?

Answer: They may. But if not, a general congratulations card is just fine.

Q: What should I write?

A: If you know the child or the family well, write something personal. Keep in mind that this is a birthday and a very special religious accomplishment for the kid that took a lot of time and preparation. Otherwise, a simple Congratulations! or Mazel tov! (the Yiddish word for congratulations) is standard. Heres a great example:

Congratulations on becoming a Bar Mitzvah! May your special day be filled with joy. Mazel Tov! Your friend,


Q: Should I write a check?

A: Yes! Unless you know specifically what the young boy or girl would like as a present, checks are still the gift of choice in the bnai mitzvah-circuit. Checks in a multiple of $18 are also appropriate. Just put a check in the amount of, say $36 or $54 into a bar mitzvah or general congratulations card. Why multiples of 18? We will let About.com eloquently explain the reasoning behind this:

The word for life in Hebrew is chai. The two Hebrew letters that make up the word chai are chet and yud. In Gematria (the numerical value of Hebrew letters), chai is equivalent to eight and yud is equivalent to ten. So chai, chet, and yud together, equals 18. Giving money in multiples of $18 is symbolic of giving chai or life. Many people give money in multiples of $18 as presents to someone celebrating a birth, a bar or bat mitzvah, or a wedding.

Chai checks, or checks of any amount, are usually deposited by the parents into the kids college fund.

Q: When do I give the hosts the card?

A: Just like at a wedding, bring the gift to the reception. Dont give it to the family at the actual service. Most likely, there will be a gift table at the reception where you can drop it off.

Q: Do I give a different kind of gift if Im invited to a bat mitzvah rather than a bar mitzvah? And whats the difference?

A: Girls have a bat mitzvah while boys have a bar mitzvah, if you are talking about both genders in general, it would be referred to as a bnai mitzvah. Traditional gifts for both are checks and academic-related items. If you are not Jewish, it may be wise to stay away from religious-themed items those are more appropriate for giving by other Jews who are more familiar with their symbolism.

Q: Okay, so its appropriate to give something in multiples of 18, but, honestly, how much should I give?

A: It depends. If the service and reception is held somewhere fancy, or if youre very close with the family, consider giving $100 (or $108). But a standard amount is in the $50 range.

Q: I dont know the kid very well, what should I give?

A: If you dont know the child well, a gift certificate to a local book store (keeping with the education theme). If not, here are some other popular choices:



AMC Theaters and Regal Entertainment Group




Forever 21


Cheesecake Factory



2013 Community News Group

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Gift Ideas for a Bar Mitzvah – About Judaism: Its History …

By Chaviva Gordon-Bennett

Updated February 05, 2016.

Looking for gift ideas for a bat mitzvah?Click here!

When a Jewish boy reaches the age of 13, he officially becomes abar mitzvah, meaning a “son of commandment.” Despite common thought, abar mitzvahisn’t a party or celebration, but rather a transitional time in a Jewish boy’s life in which he goes from being a minor to being a Jewish adult, bound to all of the commandments of a Jewish adult male.

Some of the basic commandments are being counted in a minyan, or quorum of ten men required for prayer, being called up to the Torah for an aliyah(to say the blessings before a Torah reading), and being held responsible for his actions both physically and ethically.

Thebar mitzvahis observed on the Sabbath, or Shabbat, and thebar mitzvahtypically spends months learning and preparing for the day he’ll reach majority by studying and preparing his Torah portion, memorizing the prayers over the Torah, preparing to lead Shabbat services, and prepping for a speech on the Torah portion or tying hismitzvahproject to the Torah portion. Amitzvahproject is a chance for thebar mitzvahto raise money for charity (tzedakah)or work on anotherproject to better understand his ethical role in the Jewish world.

It is common practice in most Jewish communities — religious and otherwise — for there to be a celebratory party or celebration in honor of thebarmitzvah. If you’re celebrating, chances are you’re going to want to get a meaningful bar mitzvah gift. Here are some of our suggestions for gifts that will stay with thebar mitzvahfor years to come.

In the Torah is the commandment oftallit, a clothgarment almost like a shawl with four corners that have fringes.

Speak to the children of Israel and you shall say to them that they shall make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations, and they shall affix a thread of sky blue [wool] on the fringe of each corner.This shall be fringes for you, and when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of the Lord to perform them, and you shall not wander after your hearts and after your eyes after which you are going astray.So that you shall remember and perform all My commandments and you shall be holy to your God. (Numbers 15:37-40).

Worn during prayer, in Ashkenazi communities, a Jew starts wearing atallitwhen he becomes abar mitzvah. In Sephardi communities, a Jew begins wearing thetallitafter he’s married. In both communities, whenever a Jew is called up to the Torah for analiyahto say the blessings over the Torah, he wears atallit.

Thetallitis an extremely special item in a Jew’s life because it follows him frombar mitzvahto his wedding to, in many cases, his death. In some cases, thetallitis passed down from generation to generation, too.

When a boy becomes abar mitzvah, he typically studies long and hard to learn his Torah portion so that the can read it before the congregation. One of the tools to help guide him in his reading of the Torah is theyad, or pointer, making it a great and meaningful gift that he can use throughout his life.

The?adis a beautiful piece of Judaica for any collection, but it plays an important role, too.The Talmud says,

“He who holds aSefer Torahnaked will be buried naked” (Shab. 14a).

From this, the rabbis understood that a Torah scroll should never be be touched by the bare hands, so to easily follow along while reading, or to point a passage out to someone, theyad,which literally means “arm” or “hand”is used.

Probably the most important of gifts that abar mitzvahcan receive, tefillin represent a turning point. A set oftefillinisn’t cheap, but the gift oftefillinwill likely remain with a Jewish child for the rest of his life and will be used almost daily.

Tefillinare two small boxes made of leather that contain verses from the Torah written by an expert sofer(scribe), which Jewish men abovebar mitzvah agewear during morning prayers (except on Shabbat and many holidays). The boxes are attached to long leather straps that are used to attach the boxes to the head and arm.

The mitzvah (commandment)oftefillincomes from Deuteronomy 6:5-9:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your being, and all your might. These words that I am commanding you today must always be on your minds. Recite them to your children. Talk about them when you are sitting at home and when you are out and about, when you lay down and when you rise up.Tie them as a sign upon your hand. They should be for you a symbol upon your forehead.Mark them as a sign upon the doorframe of your home and upon the gates of your city.

Also, there are very specific verses, known as theshema,found within thetefillin.

Find outmore on women and tefillin in Judaismhere.

Tanakh is actually an acronym that stands for Torah, Nevi’im (prophets), and Ketuvim (writings). It’s often used interchangeably with Torah, as it represents the whole of the written Torah in Judaism.

Although Jewish children start learning Torah stories very early in life, having a really beautiful and personal Tanakh for Torah study is a great option for abar mitzvah, as the commandments and lessons of the Torah are all the more important and applicable to his everyday life!

Although not a traditionalbar mitzvahgift, one meaningful option is a necklace celebrating thebar mitzvah’s new responsibility. The word, in Hebrew, isachrayut ().

When a Jewish boy becomes abar mitzvah, he becomes bound to all 613 of themitzvotof the Torah and/or the ethical responsibilities of being a Jewish man. Thus, responsibility is an important them of this period of time.

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