No matter how much the economy suffers, the wedding & bar/t mitzvah industry still flourishes.
Following the lead from the USA, each event has to be grandiose and outshine all the previous ones.
Hence, weddings were the bride changes her wedding gown half way through, a transsexual perform a “wedding dance” as entertainment and more booze than the average UK pub.
And I am pretty sure that some Israeli zillionaire will find a way to top the
“obermitzvah” that took place in NY.
Long Island teen Elizabeth Brook, daughter of defense industry tycoon David Brooks, had the bat mitzvah to top all bat mitzvahs.
I t took place at two floors of New York hot spot The Rainbow Room at a price tag estimated at just over $10 million.
The 300 guests sampled hors d'oeuvres to the strains of Kenny G's soprano sax.
The main entertainment featured The Eagles' Don Henley and Joe Walsh, rap diva Ciara, Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, Aerosmith and 50 cent.
The goody bags were not too shabby either – each one included a video iPod and a digital camera.
Obviously, the costs of throwing a bar/t mitzvah party are increasing rapidly.
Before the Brookfest, Amber Ridinger's Miami bat mitzvah in November 2005 topped the list. Her bat mitzvah featured performances by rap and hip-hop artists Ashanti, Ja Rule and Marques Houston and set her parents an estimated $500,000 back.
On the other side of the United States, in Los Angeles, Etti Rabb has spent over a year preparing a bat mitzvah for her daughter, Natalie.
The minimum cost for throwing a bottom-of-the-line party is $20,000 – not include the service itself, which costs another $6,000.
But there is one big difference between having a party in the US or in Israel.
In Israel, the guests pay for it themselves, since they hand over a check as a gift.
The sad thing is: the “keeping up with the Joneses” has taken over. The core of the celebration, the religious ceremony, is now a minor detail – food, presents and entertainment is the focus.
And I wonder – who will look at the video and photos in another 5+ years?
May be it’s time to get back to the basics – and make it a memorable and touching celebration again (sans fireworks and circus acts).