Mazel Tov on your Bark-mitzvah

The barmitzvah ceremony is a time-honoured Jewish tradition celebrating when a boy becomes a man – or, for some, when man's best friend does.

The latest trend in US Jewish life is for the "bark-mitzvah", marking the occasion of a dog's second birthday, which translates in human years to a boy's 13th.

Bark-mitzvot have been taking place for the better part of 15 years, but according to the Associated Press the industry is now experiencing a boom amongst America's wealthy Jews.

However the suggestion that canines can reach the same level of spiritual understanding as humans has been dismissed as barking mad by mainstream rabbis.

Lee Day, who performs bark-mitzvah ceremonies during which the puppies are given colourful kippot to wear, said the ritual was a blessing for the animal. "I really believe that the animals have a right to have a party and a religion," she said.

Last updated: 5:21pm, January 9 2012