Mazel Tov on your Bar Mitzvah, Simon!

What a privilege it was to capture my first Bar Mitzvah earlier this month in Hollywood, CA at the Temple Israel of Hollywood. Shelly, an old college friend and Allan her husband, invited family and friends from afar to witness and participate in this coming of age ceremony for their son, Simon.

With over a year of preparation, a rehearsal, a family dinner, a Shabbat service (my favorite), a Bar Mitzvah service, a hora and luncheon, and then a big ol’ bash with “This Is Fun”, Simon’s band performing to a fan filled audience….Simon was officially a Bar Mitzvah. What a weekend!

Having photographed hundreds of weddings and events, I was honored when Shelly and Allan asked me to capture this special weekend for their family. With their guidance, I was intrigued by all the different parts of the ceremonies as their son Simon became a Bar Mitzvah. Shelly, whose talent I’ve loved since our Syracuse University days, is the cantor at the temple and her beautiful voice filled the sanctuary.

As most of the guests had said their goodbyes, and my gear was all packed up ready to depart, Shelly and Allan broke into a “Last Dance”, by themselves on the dance floor. Quietly I captured a few images from afar. I didn’t want them to see me photographing them as their joy (and maybe their relief too) was so pure and uninhibited.

Mostly, I just steeped in their happiness as they celebrated the end to an amazing weekend.

Thank you Simon, Shelly and Allan and all the Skloff and Fox family and friends!

Many thank to local Andrew Heringer for your help on Saturday.

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