Bar Mitzvah in Caesarea

Jamie’s family built their house in Israel, Caesarea, a few years ago. They chose to celebrate Jamie’s Bar Mitzvah with their family and friends in Israel. Caesarea’s central coastline area is surrounded by natural and historic sites but, hey, guests came to have fun not only to observe history.

The celebrations began on Tuesday. In each room a unique gift box awaited Jamie’s guests. The box was filled with special goodies, all products of Israel. The branded sweets, chocolates, dried fruits and nuts, together with the Bar Mitzvah program and a map of Israel, all accounted for a wonderful welcome gift.

The celebrations began with a Welcome Cocktail at the Dan Caesarea hotel’s garden. The garden designed to enchant and amaze, lit lanterns were hung with blue and green ribbons from the shading trees, alternative furniture was spiced up with decorative pillows and table cloths. The main feature for the night, the ‘Slow mo’ booth was placed in the center. Staged by video director, Guy Sadot, and equipped with lots of fun props and gadgets, including lots of confetti, guests were asked to do all sorts of crazy poses and this got the celebrations rolling and everyone got into the party spirit! Little did guests know that, their movie would be projected two nights later, at the Bar Mitzvah party.

The following morning we boarded on the coaches and headed for the Druze village of Usfia where we received guided tours of the village and learned of the special story of this unique community living in Israel and the Middle East region. The tour ended in a private home of a Druze family, where we all sat down for a traditional Druze Hafla.

Upon having finished lunch, jeeps awaited the teenagers, as they headed for an adventuress outdoor experience, including backward rappelling at the quarries of Kedumim. The rest of the group headed back to Caesarea and, whilst the adults enjoyed a perfect, relaxing afternoon in the Cesar SPA, the young kids had a fun afternoon with arts & crafts and storytelling, in the hotel. Everyone reunited at the SPA’s front yard to enjoy a delicious outdoor dinner, in a calm and relaxed ambiance.

Thursday morning began with the Aliya Latora ceremony. We wanted this meaningful event to take place in a location with miraculous scenery: The Shuni fortress was just the place. An ancient Roman amphitheatre, built on the remains of a pre-existing Jewish village and then renowned by Jewish settlers and in Jewish ownership till this day. That very morning, began with heavy spring showers. The rain very nearly forced us to activate our backup plan but just minutes before guests arrived- we were prepared for the ceremony.

The Bar Mitzvah Ceremony was one of the most touching services we could ask for. Jamie’s teacher and mentor, together with his a family friend, led the service. The entire service was accompanied by the ‘kippa live’ choir who began with the well known Jewish tune of Adon Olam (Lord of the Universe) and accompanied the Rabbis in a cappella throughout the entire service an Jamie read his Bar Mitzvah piece wonderfully. Towards the end of the service, Jamie’s father said a few words and a special prayer for the sick. This was an extremely emotional moment and tears of hope and happiness were shed. The service ended with the Hebrew song of Halleluya sung to Leonard Cohen’s tune. The Bar Mitzvah brunch was situated on the rooftop remains of fortress. Pre-chosen green and blue colors continued to act as the leading color scheme. Tables and chairs were set and Parisian like, buffet carts were standing. The kids had their own special corner, decorated with glass jars and vases, full of sweets and gum balls of all colors, shapes and sizes. Erlboim catering was outstanding and guests gathered together as Jamie and his father gave moving speeches.

At 18:30 guests were driven to Jamie’s Bar Mitzvah Party. A night to remember! Upon approaching the location the beam lights could be seen from a mile away. Six big lit up balls paved the way from the pavement to the marquee. Upon arrival at the entrance of the marquee, was a large wall with ‘Jamie’ spray painted in large. Spray paints and overall awaited the guests whom were invited to graffiti on the large white canvas. To the left were large colored lights that went up into the sky. Behind the lights was a large building, this was- the Hayeem family’s home!

Guests entered the dark marquee in astonishment. Video arcade games, hokey table, an interactive play stations, an arts and crafts corner, one large bar, one even bigger stage and various buffets, were all prepared for kids and adults to begin the celebrations. The stage acts began with an eye catching bubble act; this was followed by an out of the ordinary hip hop, performed in the dark and accompanied with light up clothing. This really was something special. The dancers could not be seen and all that was visible was their red and green lights attached to their bodies. The entertainment continued with a performance of led lights that were used to create all sorts of shapes and words.Jamie, the Bar Mitzvah boy was bought onto the stage with and as he swung the led lights his name was created using the led light rods.

The party continued in the marquee but shortly after, two Joker figures in lighted extravagant costumes, together with flashing lights given out by the hospitality crew, led the guests out of the marquee and straight into the family’s back yard. The music was pumping, the bar was serving drinks at full force and everyone enjoyed a disco party that began with a performance from the well known Voca People and carried on into a fabulous dance party. At 11:00, the music turned into a headphone party. All guests received headphones and the party continued up until the early hours of the morning. The hospitality crew distributed gadgets and even a sleeping area was set up for the younger children; with bean bags, blankets, and children’s movies.

Shuttle busses were waiting from 20:00, to drive guest back to the hotel whenever they wanted, though the majority of guests remained to party the night away till 3 am !

The celebrations came to an end on the Friday morning, at 10:00am guests gathered for a calm and relaxing Farewell Breakfast. Designer Dorit Ben Israel created yet another relaxing atmosphere, and guests got together one last time before returning home with smiles on their faces.

Guests’ feedback: “Amazing, thank you for organizing a wonderful trip & experience! Definitely something to tell my grandchildren!” Suzan

“Thanks for organizing such a spectacular event – unforgettable and wonderful memories shared.” Baum Family

“The Bar Mtizvha was wonderful ! A real joyful event and a real treat” Cohen Family