Bar/bat mitzvah Q & A

Do I have to have a bar/bat mitzvah? If you mean, do you need to have a ceremony where you read from the Torah, give a speech and have a big party afterward, no you don’t. A boy automatically becomes a bar mitzvah – literally “son of the commandment” – when he turns 13. A… Read More

My bar mitzvah: Words and meaning

When I chanted the haftarah during my bar mitzvah ceremony in 1992 at Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, the words carried extra meaning. That’s because a year earlier my father and I boarded a TWA airplane (remember those?) bound for Tel Aviv, and I made my first trip to Israel where the biblical stories… Read More

Color in style for tallit, kippot

To find out what’s hot – and what’s not – in bar/bat mitzvah gift giving this season, I checked in with Leslie Kanner, owner of Israeli Accents, the longtime Judaica store off of Rockville Pike. Two sartorial staples of the b’nai mitzvah are the tallit, the prayer shawl with knotted fringes, and the kippah, the… Read More

Dedicated donations

Thanks to a close family friend, 13-year-old Dahlia Frier is aware of the damage Typhoon Haiyan wreaked upon the Philippines in 2013. So for her Oct. 25 bat mitzvah at Congregation B’nai Israel in Rockville, she raised funds to help rebuild a village school that had been destroyed. Her mother’s childhood nanny, whom Frier has… Read More