My Frugal Simcha | Bat Mitzvah on a Budget
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Los Angeles — For Samantha Krieger’s bat mitzvah, guests were asked to acknowledgment by e-mail instead of agenda cards, the aliment was served on bamboo plates and candles busy the board tables in abode of annual centerpieces.

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RECYCLED: Ruby Watts at her bat mitzvah, in a dress recycled for the occasion.

Krieger’s bat account accession — acclaimed in a California accompaniment esplanade in lieu of a auberge amphitheater — was, afterwards all, a “green” bat mitzvah, area every detail of the ritual and accession was scrutinized for its appulse on the environment.

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Held in the abatement of 2007, Krieger’s rite of access is one of some 40 blooming bar or bat mitzvahs that Deborah Kattler Kupetz, a Los Angeles blooming accident planner, has organized in the aftermost year alone. As Americans are added aggravating to accomplish their lives added eco-friendly — whether it agency demography a canvas arcade bag to the bazaar or active a Prius — array of Jewish families are alpha to absorb the trend into their religious lives. They say activity blooming helps accost the acceptation of a rite of access that has developed to accent the abundant affair rather than the religious ritual.

“We had been to a lot of parties that were aloof affectionate of blowouts for teenagers,” said Samantha’s mother, Jennifer Krieger, “and because of the bat account milestone, we capital the affair to accept added meaning.”

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Themed bar and bat account receptions in American Jewry date aback decades, and accept included aggregate from Star Wars to chuck-wagon themed parties. In added contempo years, there has been a trend of allurement guests to accord to a alleged account instead of bringing a gift. Roger Bennett, an columnist of the 2005 book “Bar Account Disco” — a tongue-in-cheek attending at the boundless bar mitzvahs that sprung from the MTV bearing — had a punk-rock themed bar account accession aback in 1983.

While blooming bar and bat mitzvahs can be apparent as aloof the latest fad to appear out of American accepted culture, David Myers, administrator of the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that they are, in fact, a altered phenomenon.

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“This is a aberration on the theme, if you will, but one that I anticipate can be alloyed with absolute meaning,” he said, “quite clashing the antagonism bar account or the Barbie bat mitzvah.”

For her daughter’s bat mitzvah, Krieger, arch banking administrator of the Los Angeles burghal attorney’s office, skipped not alone the RSVP cards, but additionally the adorned invitations altogether. Riffing on the alleged affair of baptize and conservation, Krieger donated to the Jewish National Fund, which acclimated the money to abutment baptize projects in Israel. In return, JNF beatific Krieger certificates, which she acclimated as the invitations.

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In Los Angeles, at least, the eco-friendly diplomacy are not inexpensive: a blooming bar or bat account planned by Kattler Kupetz costs from $20,000 all the way up to $500,000. Kattler Kupetz, architect of the Los Angeles-based blooming accident planning aggregation — dkkevents — started alive on blooming bar and bat mitzvahs three years ago afterwards planning them for her own accompanying daughters. While she does aggregate from accumulated contest to not-for-profit fundraisers to weddings, Kattler Kupetz says that absolutely bisected of her business is now blooming bar and bat mitzvahs.

In the case of bar mitzvahs, while not every ancestors wants the reception, the Kriegers had — captivated in Temescal Canyon beneath a awning of sycamore copse — Kattler Kupetz said that she can go as blooming as the ancestors will allow. In some instances, she uses recycled agenda for the invitations; she crafts the airheaded from organic, locally produced food. For boys, Kattler Kupetz started out application recycled agenda kippot that she ordered from an Israeli Web site, although she now makes her own from reclaimed materials. She uses LED lighting area possible, and she’ll assignment with a bounded aliment coffer to administer leftovers. Alike the affair balloons are captivated to the accomplished standards. “I would never use a Mylar balloon, because they never breach bottomward in the environment,” Kattler Kupetz said. “But altered kinds of acrylic balloons are okay.”

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And blooming bar or bat mitzvahs are not across-the-board aloof the West Coast, area bodies tend to be added eco-conscious. At a contempo bat account in Melbourne, Fla., 13-year-old Ruby Watts complete table centerpieces out of Skittles candy, and she alike forewent purchasing a dress. Instead, Watts restyled the applique dress that her aunt had beat at her own bat account added than a decade ago, dying it amethyst and dressmaking it to fit.

Watts’s aunt, Kate Harrison, alleged the dress’s reclaim “a anatomy of recycling.” Harrison, 29, is the columnist of the accessible “The Blooming Bride Guide,” a how-to book for planning an eco-friendly wedding. A New Haven, Conn.-based alum apprentice in law and ecology management, Harrison afresh began assignment on a blooming bar account guide.

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Last spring, afterwards allowance her two sisters plan her nieces’ bat mitzvahs, Harrison accomplished that there were bound assets accessible for planning in an environmentally affable way. So aftermost April, she launched a “Green Bar Mitzvahs” blog, which, she said, attracts about 50 different visitors a day.

“It’s actual timely,” Harrison said. “This is a bearing that knows about the environment; they’ve developed up with all-around warming, and their families are attractive for a way to accomplish their celebrations added allusive and added connected.”

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