My Niece, a Rabbi and Jake Puckerman Walk into a Bat Mitzvah…

When it comes to Bat Mitzvahs... this is how we roll.
When it comes to Bat Mitzvahs… this is how we roll.

This past weekend, my always-smiling little niece Amanda had her Bat Mitzvah. While she’s the first neice of mine to have one so far, two of my nephews had one last year. Even so, this one made me feel a tad bit old.

Maybe it’s because we’re almost at the halfway point of having all the kids reach their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Heck, any day now we should be learning the date of Jason’s Bar Mitzvah! Seems like only yesterday I was almost fainting from his very first poop.

Anyways, Princess Amanda is the textbook definition of “not shy.” She just loves being the center of attention. Almost as much as she loves candy.

So of course, she couldn’t just have a short, sweet and simple affair. Oh no. The Princess Amanda Bat Mitzvah Extravaganza was a 3-night celebration!

Friday night she led the congregation in parts of the service and did a really nice job. Saturday morning was the actual Bat Mitzvah ceremony. And I have to say, I was uber-impressed with how well Amanda did! She not only read/chanted a TON of Hebrew, but she did so beautifully. I’m real proud of her!

Of course Amanda needed a new dress for each day, so for her actual ceremony she wore this pink Princess-like gown.

Yes, it’s very odd seeing her with makeup on and her hair done up like that.


Look! It's Amanda and her favoritest uncle in the world!@
Look! It’s Amanda and her favoritest uncle in the world!

After the 3-hour service there was a pretty big oneg (that’s usually a short little dessert with soda, coffee, some cookies and brownies). It was pretty much like a wedding if you ask me. It was a full-on lunch with bagels, lox, cream cheese, tuna fish, egg salad, grilled veggies, blintzes, potato pancakes, and french toast, all served buffet style. Oh yeah, there was also a rockin’ sushi bar complete with dessert sushi!

Rice Krispie Treats + gummy worms + fruit rollups = YUM!

The whole thing had a candy theme too, which was completely adorable. Unless you’re a dentist. Then it’d be your worst nightmare.

Every table was themed after a specific candy. So instead of your seating card having a table number, it had the name of a candy.

Yeah, we were at the Whoppers table. And check out that “sweet” centerpiece!
Candy! Candy! Candy!
Candy! Candy! Candy!

Sunday night, however, was the big Bat Mitzvah party. This one was solely for Amanda’s friends, though the immediate family was also in attendance. It was music-blasting party at a cool club called Powerhouse in East Hanover, NJ.

Being a huge fan of dancing, I think there may’ve been about 5 minutes where I wasn’t out on the floor bustin’ a move. Oh, wait. Sorry. That wasn’t me. I was off sitting at a table for most of the night, watching The Avengers on a TV in the corner.

But early on in the evening, my brother-in-law Steve hushed the crowd and announced that a very special guest had shown up to help Amanda celebrate. She knew he was getting some celebrity to show up, but being into gymnastics, Amanda was convinced it was some famous gymnast.

So who should walk in next? None other than Jake Puckerman from Glee! (At least that’s what everyone told me. I don’t think I’ve seen more than 5 minutes of the show.)

Jake Puckerman cozies up to Princess Amanda.
Jake Puckerman cozies up to Princess Amanda.

If your eardrums were bleeding on Sunday night around 6 p.m. or so, now you know the reason. Amanda shrieked like mad and literally raced over to Jake (His real name’s Jacob Artist) and leapt into his arms to give him a ginormous hug. Every other girl in the room was shrieking in unison as well. Now I know how the Beatles must’ve felt.

Jake spent about an hour hanging out with Amanda and her friends. He sat down and had dinner with her, talked with her for awhile and took tons and tons of photos with everyone. He actually seemed like a super nice guy too.

There was plenty of great food, desserts, games, drinks (non-alcoholic pina coladas!) and even an airbrush artist who drew whatever you wanted on the back of a sweatshirt. Talk about a sweet goody bag!

The Bat Mitzvah girls and her cousins!
The Bat Mitzvah girl takes a moment to pose for the paparazzi with her cousins!

I told Steve that I wanted to renew my Bar Mitzvah vows so he could get Stan Lee to come hang out at my party with me. He liked the idea but said to forget about Stan. He’d go after Scarlett Johannson in her Black Widow costume instead. Yeah, I can live with that.

Have you ever met any celebrities?

5 thoughts on “My Niece, a Rabbi and Jake Puckerman Walk into a Bat Mitzvah…”

  1. wow,are all Bar Mitzvah this big a fancy??Ill be the first to admit I dont know much on the subject but it sounds expensive

  2. Wow what an amazing party for such a sweet girl! Her dresses are absolutely fabulous too.
    I use to watch Glee but that was a couple years ago. I’ve seen a newer episode that had this boy in it but I had no idea he was (the older cast member) “Puckerman’s brother. I can sorta see a resemblance and why they cast him now.

  3. Sounds like a full yet tiring weekend but so happy for your niece.

    I’ve had a few celebrity meetings. When I was little we vacationed in Minnesota and went to something called Steamboat Days and someone named Vaughn Monroe was there. I’d of course never heard of him but my parents had so my mom made me have my picture taken with him.

    Another time I was at a celebrity/pro tennis match for charity and met Charlton Heston. When he wasn’t playing he was sitting in the stands with a couple in front of me. He was a total jerk to the spectators and many were making rude comments about him. Lloyd Bridges was also there and he sat next to us and was so personable and friendly. Huge contrast in personalities and even though I’d only seen him in Sea Hunt he gained a new fan that day.

    In 1991 I was in the airport in Des Moines, Iowa with my mom and we saw this guy in a baby blue sports coat/tux/suit coat (don’t know what it was but looked so 70’s). This guy was carrying a shopping bat with a ukelele sticking out. My mom again made me have my picture taken with Tiny Tim. Not my proudest moment.

    Lastly I met my childhood crush. Donny Osmond was staring in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in Chicago and after seeing it for the 10th time in about 2 years I took my little cousin downtown and one of the things we did was hang out in the back of the theater around the time they got out from the matinee and waited. It paid off as I got to meet Donny as he came out the stage door and get his autograph on a life size cardboard cutout that a friend of my mom’s had gotten me. Yes, I carried that downtown with me and walked through the alley carrying it. He made a comment that it was one of the smallest photos he’d seen of himself.


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