Love Makes a Bar Mitzvah Party
A Bar Mitzvah party was David’s* dream for years. David, a studious, popular eighth grader at Boys Town Jerusalem, was looking forward to his dream coming true when the unthinkable happened. Six weeks before his 13th birthday, his parents filed for an ugly divorce. His parents blocked each other’s plans to hold the Bar Mitzvah. Plans for the Bar Mitzvah party were scheduled and then cancelled. Distraught, David ran away from home two weeks before his Bar Mitzvah celebration.
Yet against considerable odds, David did celebrate a beautiful and meaningful Bar Mitzvah ceremony. Despite the strife that had prevented his parents from providing this for their son. Pure dedication and amazing care by David’s teachers and rabbis created a custom made Bar Mitzvah party. Boys Town Jerusalem was able to provide this 13‐year‐old student with love and stamina for a lifetime.
As David’s situation deteriorated, Boys Town Jerusalem’s staff and social workers went into high gear to assist him. Each parent came in for meetings. David’s father and mother were adamant that they loved their son. Yet they could not find a solution to resolve the issues involved in making this Bar Mitzvah take place.
Carefully, painstakingly, BTJ Principal Rabbi Yehudah Rosencrantz brought them to agree to an innovative compromise. The Bar Mitzvah ceremony and celebrations would be at the Boys Town Jerusalem synagogue on a Thursday morning for David’s family and classmates. A festive reception (prepared in BTJ’s kitchen) followed by a Bowling Party for David and his entire class. To sweeten the pot, the school pledged to arrange all the details and cover the majority of the expenses.
Even the deepest controversy couldn’t darken the happiness in David’s eyes when called to the Torah to recite the age‐old Bar Mitzvah blessings. As David confidently chanted the Torah portion, his family, classmates, teachers and especially his mother and father were visibly moved. The minute the BTJ students began dancing and hoisting David on their shoulders to celebrate with him, the tension dissolved.
“Every Jewish boy deserves to have a meaningful, joyful Bar Mitzvah to remember,” said Rabbi Rosencrantz. “Fortunately, Boys Town has gained the merit to replace trauma with happiness for David and many other deserving students like him.”
* not his real name