Eyal Goodman's barmitzvah invitation

By Katie Taylor, November 5, 2010
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Watch the barmitzvah invitation that went viral.


YouTube invite brings in 80,000 barmitzvah guests

By Katie Taylor, November 5, 2010

A barmitzvah invitation which assumed a life of its own on the Internet has gone to more than 80,000 people — and the numbers are still rising.

Michael and Jacqui Goodman, formerly of Edgware, north London, decided to send out a different kind of invitation to the barmitzvah of their son, Eyal.


Barmitzvahs still on at school

By Simon Rocker, October 14, 2010

King Solomon High School in Redbridge says it will continue to let pupils celebrate their bar and batmitzvahs in school.

Last week JFS in north London announced it was ending bnei mitzvah ceremonies at the request of local congregations which felt that they might discourage youngsters from having them in synagogue.

But King Solomon head Spencer Lewis said this week: "We have always offered our students the opportunity to celebrate their barmitzvah at the school. We believe it is important that we do this and almost all the families who take this up are not members of


Teens get a taste of the Big Apple

By Jay Grenby, September 2, 2010

Twenty-one post-bar- and batmitzvah youngsters from Radlett and Bushey Reform Synagogue have returned from a week in New York - "the largest and most exciting educational undertaking this synagogue has ever participated in".

Accompanied by Rabbi David Mitchell, two youth workers and four young adult madrichim, the 14- and 15-year-olds visited major synagogues and other sites of Jewish interest, including Ellis Island. They also took a tour of old New York with a local rabbi.


Branching out for simchahs

By Jay Grenby, August 19, 2010

A Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue member has set up a tree of life to commemorate the many simchahs in the growing herts community.

Leaves can be used by families to mark births, bar- and batmitzvahs, weddings, anniversaries and other celebrations. Former board member Aaron Kaye was inspired by a similar initiative prompted by his father, Larry, at Bournemouth Chabad.


Mazel tov from Obama, Schwarzenegger and the Queen

By Jennifer Lipman, August 16, 2010

It would have been a guest list like no other, had all those invited to Travis’ barmitzvah been able to attend.

Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth and the late Charlton Heston were just some of the big names who made the list.

Sadly all the politicians, statesmen and celebrities who were sent invitations to the party in August 2007 by Travis’ father Gregory declined.

But 41 at least had the courtesy to reply and, after seeing another web user boast about a wedding message from the president, Travis has posted the responses online.


My Big Fat Jewish Birthday

By Simon Rocker, July 22, 2010

Yet another Jewish family has had their five minutes of fame. This time it is the Colemans from Chigwell, the stars of BBC documentary, My Child's Big Fat Birthday Party, which aired on Monday.

The narrator informed us that 13-year-old Guy's barmitzvah celebrations are "a culmination of 18 months of almost military planning by his parents" and will include a caricaturist, magician, break dancer and singer.

Rabbi Larry Becker's sentiment that he is "very uncomfortable with the large modern extravaganza" is soon forgotten by Guy, who enters his party arm-in-arm with two sparkly dancers.


The barmitzvah that had everything

By Jennifer Lipman, July 20, 2010

There was a barmitzvah on the BBC on Monday evening as the channel aired a programme about lavish children’s birthday parties, featuring a Jewish family from Chigwell in Essex.

Guy Colman’s party at the Four Seasons Hotel in London was one of four celebrations included in the programme “My Child's Big Fat Birthday Party”.

Others were a cowboy-themed party for an eight-year-old and a winter wonderland affair with live reindeers.

Thirteen-year-old Guy was barmitzvah in October 2009 at Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue, where he read a portion from Lech Lecha.


Keeping simchahs kosher

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 15, 2010

Efforts to stem the trend of non-kosher barmitzvah celebrations in Manchester have been urged by delegates to the city's Council of Synagogues.

Monday's AGM of the Orthodox representative body agreed to investigate whether families could be asked to sign an agreement committing to serve supervised food.

Council life vice-president Shalom Goldblatt said that "a barmitzvah is the beginning of adult Jewish life, so it's not appropriate to celebrate it with a treife do".


Birthdays? I'd prefer a batmitzvah

By Bryony Gordon, July 1, 2010

I don't like to boast - oh goodness, I have already lied in the first five words of this column - but I have been to a lot of parties in my life. This is because my existence is essentially empty and hollow and I have no hobbies or interests other than drinking and smoking and trying to find a boyfriend.