Bat Mitzvah Change of Plans

This Bat Mitzvah seems to have a gremlin. As you recall, neither of our congregational rabbis were available to perform the service, so we were going to go with a dear family friend, Rabbi John Sherwood. John performed our wedding ceremony, and did the naming ceremony for our daughter.

We just got a call from Rabbi Sherwood’s wife. John is in the CCU at a hospital in Ventura County. First and foremost, we’re concerned that he is OK. Prayers for his recovery are appreciated. But his wife also indicated that he will not be recovered sufficiently to do the Bat Mitzvah (I’m not going to even think about the other side of that “if”).

So, another change of plans. The wife of our caterer was also a rabbinic intern, and just received her ordination. She was doing the evening service already. We just called her, and she’ll be glad to do the service for us.

So, we continue to part of the driver training film that is this adventure. However, I’m nervous about the next curve in the road.

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An Etiquette Question

As I mentioned in a previous post, most of our Bat Mitzvah invitations have gone in the mail. Traditionally, one invites the congregational rabbis to the reception, understanding that they typically do not attend. But it is “what you do”. So, we have three envelopes waiting to be stuffed and stamped for the congregational clergy (two rabbis, one cantor). Here’s where I have a quandry. We know that neither of the two congregational rabbis nor the congregational cantor are available that day (for if they were, they would be doing the service). I feel weird sending them invitations knowing in advance they won’t be there. It seems like a slap in the face. So, the question is… should we send them invitations?

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The Items In This Post Are Not Related. Well, Mostly.

  • Bat Mitzvah invitations are in the mail. Well, mostly. We have about 10 more to deliver/mail, but we are waiting for more to come back from the printer.
  • It has been w-i-n-d-y today. I’m talking gust up to 75mph. Combine this with under 10% humidity, and you know what that means: yup, Southern California has changed seasons from Smog to Smoke. There are 11 fires burning right now (good map), with really big ones in Malibu, Castaic, Agua Dulce, Fontana, and down in San Diego (more). There’s also one in Moorpark. The Moorpark and Castaic fires have combined to make the sky brown with smoke, and the winds have downed trees all over the road.
  • We lost power once today. It’s been stable since. This is good.
  • I’m making a mean pasta sauce for dinner, to be served over spaghetti squash, together with sauteed zucchini and garlic, and a side salad. I really should go get back to it.
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The Fountain Pen

Although the joke is that one gives a fountain pen for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, the traditional gift from the parents is a tallit for the child. Last week we ordered nsshere‘s tallit and it arrived a few days ago, so I thought I would share it with folks (as most of you won’t be at the ceremony to see it). It is from one of our favorite companies for this, Silk Bijoux, who does hand-painted silk items (my wife has some lovely earrings from them that she got many years ago at a harvest festival). Anyway, back to the tallit. nsshere picked the Tree of Life design, which is a navy base with lots of red and oranges, to which we added a compatible kippah. They will make their debut at the Bat Mitzvah.

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Completing the Vendor Roster

Thanks to a recommendation from our photographer, we now have a decorator… Ramon, from Party by Ramon. We met with him a few weeks ago, and today he showed us an example centerpiece. Wow. This extra effort is more than we’ve seen from other bidders, and it has certainly sold us. He’s also willing to work within our budget.

[What’s a decorator, you ask. Instead of using a florest, folks often use a decorator. They design the centerpieces and other decorations, and more importantly, come in and set up so you don’t have to the morning of the event. They also help break down afterwards. This will be invaluable for us. They are also what turn a plain social hall into an appropriately themed shindig.]

So now we have all the vendors we are going to have: caterer, DJ, photographer, and decorator. All we need to do now is get out the invitations (all designed and to Postal Plus on Monday), select the photos for a photo montage, and determine what shows we are going to use for the table names.

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