Over the past seven years, my family and I have made an almost bi-annual trek to Minneapolis when my niece and nephew and nephew became bat and bar mitzvahs. Our family of four was always deeply appreciative that these events were never held during the state’s infamous winters.
We were also thrilled that friends and family from coast to coast made the voyage to honor these special occasions. And while our kids eagerly looked forward to the parties that followed the service, my husband Michael and I excitedly anticipated our favorite part of the service, when my brother Scott and sister-in-law Debra addressed their child personally, passionately and yes, sometimes playfully, from the bimah.
This tradition brought tears to our eyes and joy to our hearts. This tradition made each bar and bat mitzvah unique and intimate. And this tradition is not permitted in our synagogue.