I am part of the 98/99 Bar/Batmitzvah class at Finchley Reform synagogue. There are about 25 people in my year. It has a unique system where other teenagers who have just completed their bar/batmitzvahs are trained to give one-to-one tuition to the next lot. My helper, Jonathan Gross, helped me learn not only my Torah portion but all the important sections of the Friday night and Saturday morning services. Keri, my sister, taught me how to sing the Torah portion.
What I had to do
I lead the Friday night service with the help of Keri and my brother, Jules. On the Saturday morning I had two Torah portions (from Mishpatim and Ki-tiza) and the haftorah from Nevi'im.
A number of my family travelled from abroad, 3 from Cape Town (my Grandpa Dave, my Aunt Sharon and cousin Janice and my Aunt Jenny from Israel. Many others came from as far away as Manchester and even South London!
It was held in the synagogue hall on Saturday night and was a great success. We had about 110 people, 4 pinball tables and 1 band. The food was great and the band got everyone dancing. The band, Crooked Usage, comes from Finchley and the lead singer was one of our friends and a guest at the party. We also dished out streamers, marakkas, inflatable beach balls and bananas to add to to the chaos.
My mum gave a welcome speech and after the main course, Keri acted as Master of Ceremonies and introduced in turn, Jules, my best friend Leah Jacobs, and my Godmother Judy Wiseman. Then came my turn which had a bad start as I had accidently picked up Leah's speech! In the end it worked out OK and I got a few laughs!
I got some brilliant presents and my Dad and Grandpa completed my room on Monday with a space-age lighting system. Thank goodness it is the half-term holiday so I can recover and write this web-page.