Bar Mitzvahs are Going Green

bat-mitzvahIt’s common for bar and bat mitzvahs to have a theme, and the latest trend seems to be green for the reception following this Jewish right of passage ceremony. Haaretz.com reports that “scores of Jewish families are beginning to incorporate the [green] trend into their religious lives.”

The green them trend isn’t just for their environment, though. Going green helps

reclaim the significance of a rite of passage that has grown to emphasize the lavish party rather than the religious ritual.

The lavish parties might have changed focus, but their price tags can still remain steep. A green bar or bat mitzvah done by a professional planner in LA can run anywhere from $20,000 to $500,000. No, I didn’t add an extra zero there. Of course, those are professionally planned parties, and the price tag doesn’t need to be near that amount.

Kattler Kupetz, an LA green event planner, planned green bat mitzvahs three years ago for her twin daughters and now they have become half of her business. Some of the things she incorporates are:

  • recycled paper for invitations
  • menus from organic, locally produced food
  • recycled cardboard kippots
  • LED lighting where possible
  • distribution of leftover food to local food banks

Kate Harrison, the author of the The Green Bride Guide, is now working on a book on how to plan a green bar mitzvah.

“It’s very timely,” Harrison said. “This is a generation that knows about the environment; they’ve grown up with global warming, and their families are looking for a way to make their celebrations more meaningful and more connected.”

I’m encouraged to see this trend in bar and bat mitzvahs. I hope that it continues into other teenage celebrations like Sweet 16’s and even proms.

Image courtesy of n0nick on flickr

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