Your piece on the b’nai mitzvah scene (“B’nai Mitzvah Growing Pains,” March 8, really made me sick to my stomach. Not your excellent writing, but the very sad and sickening distortion of this milestone.
My family was fortunate to live in a down-to-earth Jewish community in Columbia Md. At the time my kids were getting bar mitzvahed, in the late ‘80s, there was almost a reverse snobbery regarding how showy or fancy the celebration should be. It was great. However, times have changed, and even here in Columbia, the new generation is into the same kind of parties that you describe in your piece.
I am now a grandmother of young grandchildren and shudder to think that they too will have to put on such over-the-top celebrations. Peer pressure and community norms are hard to fight. I so hope that somehow this milestone in Jewish life can return to being something meaningful and modest.
Thanks again for your good work.