A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

Header image by Grace Yagel/70 Faces Media

How to host a backyard bar or bat mitzvah

HOLLY LEBOWITZ ROSSI, Kveller.com June 23, 2021

If your family is planning a backyard bar or bat mitzvah, Dorothy’s famous words at the end of “The Wizard of Oz” might be on your mind: “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire… I won’t look any further than my own backyard.” True,...

UH Zoom Adult Bnai Mitzvot

Adult b’nai mitzvah Zoom to treasured milestone

By Bill Motchan, Special to the Jewish Light December 17, 2020

Judy Berger lost her husband, Leslie, on New Year’s Eve 2019, but he was very much on her mind during the second day of Hanukkah last Saturday. That’s when Berger, 73, achieved a milestone: her bat mitzvah.“He was never bar mitzvahed, and I thought,...

Amy Fenster Brown with her son, Leo, at his bar mitzvah earlier this month. 

More ‘mitzvah,’ less ‘bar’: A lesson in silver linings

By Amy Fenster Brown August 27, 2020

Raise your hand if you’re tired of the phrase “the new normal.” Keep your hand up if you realize you’re actually adapting to the new normal, even though the term annoys you. I see lots of hands.  The world has changed plans with regard to work,...

Henry Rosenblum is flanked by his grandfather, Doron Berger (left), and his father, Steven Rosenblum at the Garden Shul Synagogue in Cape Town, South Africa.  

Mitzvot from the Heart: Henry Rosenblum

Mitzvot from the Heart is compiled by Elise Krug July 31, 2020

Henry Rosenblum followed what is now a family tradition: a bar mitzvah abroad. Henry’s eldest brother, Myles, became a bar mitzvah in Jerusalem, joined by extended family on both sides. Then Spencer, the middle son, traveled with his family to Budapest,...

Best of Simchas

Best of Simchas Readers Poll

January 2, 2020

We asked readers to cast their vote for St. Louis’ top businesses that help to make bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings and other celebrations occasions to remember for a lifetime. More than 700 people voted in the poll and on the following pages, find the...

Kate Barbarash

Mitzvot from the Heart: Kate Barbarash

Mitzvot from the Heart is compiled by Elise Krug, Editorial and Development Associate November 9, 2018

Kate Barbarash | United Hebrew CongregationAs hard as it was studying Hebrew for her bat mitzvah and as nerve racking as it was standing on the bimah in front of more than 100 people, Kate said it was all worth it. That’s because it brought her to the...

Simcha Lourie

Having a party? Make it a PARTY!

BY MARGI LENGA KAHN, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT March 23, 2018

There are parties, and then there are PARTIES. Most of us have hosted a party. For example, you may have had family or friends over for a backyard barbecue. Or you may have hosted your child’s birthday party in your basement. Or you may have even invited...

Temple Israel hosting bar/bat mitzvah cotillion program

December 29, 2016

Temple Israel is hosting its annual bar/bat mitzvah cotillion program for St. Louis area sixth-grade students, which aims to educate both Jewish and non-Jewish teens in a fun and exciting way about the traditions, etiquette, dance moves, music and social...

Rabbi Hyim Shafner of Bais Abraham works with students  taking part in a yearlong bar/bat mitzvah program for Israeli families in St. Louis. Photos courtesy Bais Abraham

Bar/bat mitzvah initiative aims to engage Israeli families here

By Hannah Snidman, Staff writer June 22, 2016

After forming a Hebrew school specifically for secular Israelis, Bais Abraham recently created a yearlong bar and bat mitzvah program for Israeli families living in the St. Louis area.In Israel, many Jewish teenagers host parties for bar and bat mitzvahs...

It’s time to raise the bar on the bar/bat mitzvah

By Rabbi Joel E. Hoffman, Special to the Jewish Light May 26, 2016

I have always wondered why bar/bat mitzvah lessons consists of learning trope, how to chant a section of the Torah and Haftarah, and how to lead parts of the service, especially because we know that 99 percent will never again read from the Torah or Haftarah...

Zach Wochner is shown with bimah baskets made to benefit the cats and dogs at St. Louis County Animal Care and Control, where Zach volunteers.

Mitzvot from the Heart: Zach Wochner

February 24, 2016

Zach Wochner, United Hebrew CongregationUnited Hebrew’s HaDerech Mitzvot is a program to enhance students’ connection to Judaism as they prepare for their bar or bat mitzvah. Throughout the past year, Zach Wochner, son of Micki and Michael Wochner...

Lauren Mishkin

Mitzvot from the Heart: Lauren Mishkin

February 24, 2016

Lauren Mishkin, Congregation Shaare EmethLauren Mishkin loves working with kids and wanted to volunteer in a classroom for her mitzvah project. For six months, she spent every Tuesday afternoon at the University City Children’s Center, a diverse early...

Load More Stories
Activate Search
A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.