From contemporary ideas to go-to specialists, JLife looks at all things Bar/ Bat Mitzvah.
The advances in all things technological have trickled into the Bar/ Bat Mitzvah industry to the extent that they’re affecting the educational process too.
Some tech-savvy parents throughout the world are foregoing traditional methods and signing their children up to alternative lessons in the lead up to their Bar/ Bat Mitzvah courtesy of online programmes. And as well as being formally tutored using Skype and iChat, young ones can study in their own time and find easy assistance with Torah portions and prayers by way of apps. In particular, The Shabbat Blessings app breaks down blessings into a line-by-line format with audio and visuals in Hebrew, English, and transliteration.
From the parents’ perspective, the availability of mobile apps lends a huge amount of support in the planning process in the weeks beforehand, such as constructing the seating plan and overseeing the layout.
On the Guest List
Gone are the days when standard postage invites dominated; instead, people are now utilising specific websites to send across the information via email. For example, on Paperlesspost.com you can select a variety of templates and designs to complement your chosen theme. Or why not create a unique URL? Encourage guests to keep an eye on the website and you’ll only have to post any updates once.
Keeping track of the abundance of pictures snapped at the occasion can be a tricky business, so save yourself the hassle by including a particular hashtag on any invite or website. Photos uploaded to forums like Instagram and Facebook will be easy to locate and gather into one album, perhaps even cutting the cost of hiring a professional photographer.
From caricature portraits to blown-up personalised pictures, imagery plays a key role in Bar/ Bat Mitzvah parties. And in the last couple of years, digital graffiti walls have emerged as a revolutionary replacement — and a great source of entertainment too. Guests have the facilities to ‘paint’ on pictures in which, when they press the cap, the can spreads infra-red light which is tracked by a computer as it moves across the screen.
A technological guestbook alternative is to dot a number of big screens around the venue. Youngsters will revel at the chance to text Mazel Tov messages during the course of the evening and see them appear. The plasmas can also be used for gaming purposes; display trivia questions and guests can compete against one another to send the right answer through first.
The latest in lighting techniques can be used to enhance the event in the form of a LED dance floor. The portable interactive light-up surface showcases videos, photos, custom logos and more, leaving curious minds fascinated.
Do Me a Favour
A music-related favour will be a particularly welcomed memento for party attendees — but instead of stretching your budget on pre-packaged CDs, make a bespoke version yourself.
Easy-to-use online services will let you compile your own party playlist and transfer them onto individual CDs. And rest assured that when the tunes blast through the stereo at a later date, people will be instantly transported back to your special day.
Keeping with the musical theme, custom iTunes card will be an appreciated favour that young ones will actually put to use. Adorn the front of the cards with your customised photo, text, and any other monogram or logo, and provide guidelines for downloading free songs on the back of it.
For something else a bit different, suss out whether you are able to rent out an Instaprint machine in your area and, if so, young ones can be responsible for their own party tokens. The photos that they upload on the social media platform can be printed out at the party and taken home for them to frame.
Celebrate Good Times
JLife’s round up of celebration specialists will bring out the best of your Bar/ Bat Mitzvah.
Avenue 2 Beauty
Avenue 2 Beauty is set in the heart of Alwoodley. The qualified team offer a range of affordable treatments from facials and massages to tanning. Treat yourself to a selection of Avenue 2 Beauty’s latest offers on the website, including Decléor Aroma Expert facials and Oressence face and body treatments that will leave you replenished.
Event organiser Juliet Shenderey and her team understand that your event is unique and special. Their bespoke service will therefore create, design, develop and manage all or part of your event to suit your budget, style and needs.
With over 15 years’ experience and expertise, encompassing the organisation of diverse events around the world, the company will guide and assist you every step of the way to deliver a truly memorable and outstanding celebration. You can sit back, relax and enjoy your occasion.
Juliet’s work is well-recognised within the community, having worked at LJWB for three years organising and running events, including weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs, birthdays, anniversaries and much more.
Linda Abrahams & Co
An array of bespoke invitations and event stationery await when you step through the doors at Linda Abrahams & Co on Stainbeck Lane. They offer a custom design service to ensure that whatever your style, theme or budget your stationery is perfectly tailored to suit you. Whether planning a wedding, Bar/ Bat Mitzvah or special celebration, the showroom is well worth a visit.
Production Light & Sound
Production Light & Sound uses over 20 years’ experience to offer a high quality and professional service to meet whatever requirements your event may have. Whether you need a venue lighting, a PA system, a stage for your band or drapes for a backdrop, Production Light & Sound works with you to create the perfect setting for your event.
Rob & Andrea McQue
Rob and Andrea McQue are excited to now offer their delicious food for simchas into the Leeds shul halls. After many successful years catering at the MAZCC, this is a much-awaited addition to their services. They will be providing varied and affordable menus, from haimishe fried chicken to fine dining options, all tailored to the customers’ needs and requirements. Events will be fully serviced and run by the professional and experienced team.
For instant glamour, Sparkles, located in Pudsey, is worth a visit, being a major stockist of special occasion dresses, suitable for proms, Bar/ Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, pageants and more. The family-run business boasts designer brands including Jovani and Jasz Couture, while the ranges will suit all styles and budgets. The boutique also stocks jewellery and bags to complete your outfit.
Spotlight Event Photo Booth
The Spotlight Event Photo Booth service is a great addition to occasions, such as weddings, Bar/ Bat Mitzvahs, birthday celebrations and corporate functions. The team — which has over 20 years of combined event experience — uses only professional equipment to ensure customers receive the best possible pictures. Guests can enjoy the range of props and take home unlimited prints.
Steve Bootle Photography
Steve Bootle is an award-winning Bar and Bat Mitzvah photographer. Steve has a real talent for capturing every special moment and his photos really tell a story from beginning to end. Steve is approachable, affordable and has a very relaxed style and is happy to arrange a no obligation consultation to help you plan your simcha.
The Cairn Hotel
Situated just a five-minute walk from the centre of Harrogate, the three-star AA Cairn Hotel combines charming Victorian features with modern facilities. The hotel has great value for rates and can cater for an array of different events. The offerings include 135 en-suite bedrooms, a delicious restaurant, six conference/ banqueting rooms — which can hold from two to 350 guests — and free on-site parking.
The ZipYard prides itself on quality, speed of service and competitive pricing. The fully trained staff provide free consultation for alterations and repairs for all garments — ideal for any upcoming Bar/ Bat Mitzvahs. Fitting rooms are available and no appointment is required. A one-hour express service is at hand for hems, zips and other minor repairs. The ZipYard also provides a full bridal service.
Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa
Forget the hustle and bustle of the city and head out to this luxurious four-star hotel, where one way systems and meter parking are nowhere to be seen. Enjoy the stylish surroundings of the elegant courtyard or indulge in some total relaxation in the tranquil spa. Non-residents are most welcome.