bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah planning guide
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Bar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah and Jewish Wedding Planning and Resource Guide

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Toasts, Speeches and Poems

Quotations for Toasts and Speeches
(Excerpted from MitzvahChic, A New Approach to Hosting a Bar or Bat Mitzvah That is Meaningful, Hip, Relevant, Fun & Drop-Dead Gorgeous, available at www.mitzvahchic.com.)

Often the hardest part of writing a speech for your child's bar/bat mitzvah is getting started. If you're hung up, don't keep trying to think of that all-important first line yourself when there's so much great material out there. Use a quote! This selection contains quotations on life, children, and friendship.

Life and How Best to Live It
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. -Helen Keller
Our obligation is to give meaning to life and in doing so to overcome the passive, indifferent life. - Elie Wiesel
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. - Albert Einstein
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Live each day as if your life had just begun. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. - George Bernard Shaw
Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again. - James R. Cook
Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. - Samuel Johnson

Children and Adolescents
The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults. - Peter De Vries
Adolescence is a period of rapid changes. Between the ages of 12 and 17, for example, a parent ages as much as 20 years. - Anonymous
You don't have to suffer to be a poet; adolescence is enough suffering for anyone. - John Ciardi

Quotations on Friendship
Love is blind, but friendship closes its eyes. - Unknown
What is a friend? I will tell you it is someone with whom you dare to be yourself. - Frank Crane
A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes. Unknown
A friend is one who believes in you when you have ceased to believe in yourself - Unknown

Wedding Toasts
(Exerpts provided by Claudia Pletter of It Could Be Verse, 732-679-8093)

There's a legend at Tufts, where they met, you see,
Kiss under Bowen's Gate....and married, you'll be.
So up to Boston,
They both went,
A marriage proposal...his intent.
He took her again to the famed Bowen's Gate,
To ask Allison to be his wife, lover and mate.


A wedding date was set....what a thrill,
The night before it, Lori fell ill.
Wedding's postponed,
They spread the news,
But, what the heck, why give up the wedding cruise?
They thought that going would be for the best,
And happily, Lloyd passed the "honeymoon test."


Marathons to run, Kilimanjaro to climb,
Diving in the Seychelles....ain't life divine?
The world's greatest surgeon,
Unlike any other,
Well, what'd you expect?....after all, I'm his mother.
He's compassionate, witty: a golf club he swings,
He celebrates life and all that it brings.


Planning the wedding......how would they cope?
They thought the best idea was just to elope.
I started to cry,
Tho it wasn't my style,
It was my right to see her walk down the aisle.
I ranted and raved...it would just have to be,
I didn't care what it entailed....they had to do it for me!

Candle Lighting Poems
(Examples provided by Claudia Pletter of It Could Be Verse, 732-679-8093)

ALEXA #12
My sister Alexa what can I say?
She's funny and smart and chatters away!
Alexa doesn't miss a trick she knows who, what and where,
If it's happening in Armonk the info she's sure to share!
She likes to hang out with my friends and she wears my clothes,
We make our own spa products or go to Broadway shows.
She likes to sleep in my room we talk about school and boys,
When she practices the drums, I have to listen to the noise!
Alexa come up here just do what I say,
Show everyone how we get along it's only for today.

BIELSKY BRIGADE #9
I want to honor this group because of the important role that they played,
They are some of the members from the Bielsky Brigade.
This was a group of partisans, who fought the Nazis from '43 to '45,
Because of their heroic actions, many Jews in Poland were able to survive.
I know to Grandma Sonya and Grandpa Aaron this group means so much,
I think it's very special that through the years, they've stayed in touch.
I want to honor those still living and those who have passed,
You're strength and resolve have built memories that last.
And, all of their children.. the next generation,
Will keep stories alive with great veneration.
The families and members of the Bielsky Brigade are as special as can be,
Light candle #9. it would truly be an honor for me.

MARK #7
Mark is my Dad's partner they really like each other,
Except on those occasions, when they fight just like brothers.
He has a special goal, to which he greatly aspires,
He works hard now, so he can be young when he retires.
Spending time at the Outer Banks on the beach, he'll take a stroll,
He's into Aerosmith and the Stones give him good old Rock N Roll.
He calls us the "mall dwellers" shopping malls he really hates,
He's a real Giant fan and thinks the Yankees are great.
Mark, I think it would be heaven,
If you'd come up and light candle #7.

More Candle Lighting Poems
(Examples provided by Susan Linsenbaum of Rhyme Time, 1-800-569-8869)

In Memory of Grandfather Aaron
Remembering my Grandfather Aaron is a very good place to start because he'll always hold a special place within my heart. And though I never knew him, we still share a common trait. We don't need a special occasion to gather people and celebrate. But this is a celebration and I know he's with us here today. This candle now will honor him in a very special way.

Grandma Elaine & Grandpa Jerry
This candle for Grandma Elaine and Grandpa Jerry will glow especially bright. Having them both here with me makes everything just right. I look forward to family dinners when I know you will be there. It's always very special to have good times that we share. So Grandma and Grandpa, please come up now. I have something just for you. Come up and get a hug and a kiss and candle number two.

Aunt Vivian
Aunt Vivian is a lady who has a special style. She's bubbly and friendly and she always wears a smile. My Dad is glad to help out if her TV set should break. We'll go to dinner or a movie, but she likes to cook and bake. You know I think you're special, but now I'll say it once more. When you come up to stand beside me to light candle number four.

Aunt Carol
Aunt Carol lives in California so I don't see her a lot. But we write each other often ­ she's the best pen pal I've got. She really loves to travel so she's always on the go. She keeps up with the family so she's always in the know. Having you here for my bat Mitzvah means so very much. That's why candle number five is here now waiting for your touch.

David's Friends
I have a lot of friends and I'm a really lucky guy. I don't have time to name them all so I won't even try. Girls and boys together, many old friends, many new. You all know just who you are and how I feel about all of you. This special group please come up now. Good friends are hard to find. This candle is for these friends that truly are one of a kind.

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