Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bat Mitzvah

I went to a Bat Mitzvah this evening.

At the Marina in Tel Aviv.

There are three major occasions that Israeli's choose to celebrate in a very public way.
They are:

I have been to one Brit Milah, and that was more than enough for me. The other two, however, I do go to if the people mean something to me. Relatively speaking I have been fortunate, I think I have been to 3 Bar Mitzvah and a dozen weddings all together in my entire life. I know people who go to that many every year. No kidding.

For these occasions, putting on a grand show can be very important, as alot of times it is combined with business, with colleagues, associates and bosses often attending.

This evening's party took place in a "hall" that was really one of the nicest places I have been to. On a roof top deck, overlooking the Mediterranean, it didn't feel like a place that was specifically for "occassions". Until I came to Israel I had never heard of having a space specifically for celebrations. In Canada it was either rent space from a Legion Hall, or book into a hotel, or rent a restaurant for an evening. I never knew there could be so many places for functions. Here I think there must be a hall for every 10,000 people, and please don't put this down to exaggeration... There are thousands of halls across the country, including what look like malls, with acres of parking, that are in fact multiple reception hall-plexes, with different capacities and themes, separate catering facilities, and different owners.

There was all sorts of food...
but being a work related function I didn't feel too comfortable snapping away,

so I only took one food shot - of my plate.

I have to reiterate that you never, ever go hungry in Israel. There was sushi, ceviche in served in Belgian endive, mini shishkebabs, mini-mini open faced burgers, an open bar with capirinhas and punch and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, though I didn't see any beer - I guess this wasn't a beer crowd. There were also regular hamburgers and chips with all the condiments and pesto, a sandwich bar, really tender and juicy teriyaki chicken breasts, sirloin skewers served rare with a salsa and a mushroom sauce, fish, salads, roulade of eggplant and peppers, sweet potato puree, mashed potatoes, basmati rice, oriental stir-fried noodles, and various other bits and pieces that I didn't even get a close look at.

After the main bit of eating was done there was a film - professionally shot and edited, with family and friends acting and dancing in it. It was very different from the homemade slide shows that you hear about, or the half tiddly aunties who try to sing. After this there was more of the meaty stuff for those who wanted, or strolling waitstaff offering fresh fruit - including starfruit, kiwi, plums, huge perfectly round red grapes, mixed berry tarts, chocolate cake, apple strudel, lemon tart and more, or you could go to the espresso bar, that also had one of those ever churning iced coffee machines. Of course all of the sweets and the cream for the coffee were parve - so I had a double expresso that I sipped through a cinnamon stick.

I have to admit to being a bit of a wuss when it comes to flashing lights and loud music {which I tolerate for specific music only}, and in comparison to most of the guests, I left quite early... if 22:30 is early for a week-night.

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