Sam Horowitz of Dallas, on being congratulated on his recent bar mitzvah performance, said he practiced for three hours every Sunday for a month. With his choreographer.
The result was a Las Vegas-style extravaganza that has gone viral, with more than 430,000 views, at last count, praised as “a great event” by the hosts of “Good Morning America,” when young Sam did an encore performance with six showgirls on the streets of Time Square the other day. It’s also been decried by the likes of Rabbi David Wolpe, who called the video “egregious, licentious and thoroughly awful,” so offensive he didn’t know where to begin in describing the act of “turning a ceremony of spiritual maturation into a Vegas showgirl parade.”
The now-famous clip shows young Sam’s entrance to his party, which took place at the Omni Hotel in Dallas and was originally posted on YouTube last November.
Sam slowly descends in a giant chandelier on an elaborate stage with his name ablaze in 20-foot-high neon lights in the background. There he is greeted by a bevy of eight sexy female dancers, and together they all bust their moves to Jennifer Lopez’s “Dance Again.”
All in good taste, apparently, to the large and appreciative audience.
At his Broadway encore, dressed in a sparkly white outfit, Sam described his “dream come true,” and his mom, Elaine, spoke of how proud she was of him.
Perhaps to offset the criticism of those like Rabbi Wolpe, spiritual leader of Temple Sinai in Los Angeles and a Jewish Week columnist who said that on watching the video, “I thought the adjective ‘godless’ has rarely been more apt,” the Horowitz family let it be known this week that in lieu of gifts, they asked their invited guests to support a Jewish Agency youth village near Hadera in Israel.
According to the Jewish Agency, the family and guests raised $36,000 this summer for the Ben Yakir Youth Village, a residential education facility for boys, ages 12 to 18, most of whom are from Ethiopia, with severe emotional, behavioral and family problems.
No information was available on the cost of Sam’s bar mitzvah.
The video can be seen at: http://www.jta.org/2013/08/13/news-opinion/the-telegraph/how-to-enter-a-bar-mitzvah