To say Jacob’s bar mitzvah party was “lit” is an understatement. And ultra-fitting since the simcha occurred during Hanukkah 2023, December 9 to be exact. For those out-of-the-know, more recent references to “lit” mean something extraordinary or exciting.

And that it was.

“Everything was NEON!” said mom Rachel Phelps. “Jacob is a huge fan of color and neon colors are his favorite.

On Saturday evening, the Beth Sholom social hall was a vibrant display of color. From napkins, place cards, floral arrangements and even the cake icing, to lightning bolt tabletops the place was shining.

“Jacob also loves airbrush,” said Rachel. “So, we gave the kids their own personalized airbrushed sweatshirts. The airbrush artist was so fun to watch, and it was a form of unexpected entertainment!”

“We are so grateful to Einat Loskovitz, our event planner who was fabulous as always,” said Rachel. “She handled all the details so we can be there to support Jacob and enjoy the weekend.”

Welcoming out-of-town company was extra special since “so many family members had to cancel their trip for our daughter, Rebecca’s, bat mitzvah at the onset of COVID,” she explained.

While the party on Saturday evening made quite a splash. The festivities began with a Friday night Shabbat meal in the Community Court at Beth Sholom catered by Mosa.

Jacob, who had readily prepared for this special day had studied with Rabbi Sarit Horwitz. Dr. David Moinester taught him Torah and Haftorah and Mrs. Rose Ross taught him parts of the service.

Jacob led Shacharit, Torah service and Musaf. Family and friends came in to lead some other prayers.

Parents Greg and Rachel sponsored kiddush following the ceremony, which was catered by Paradox.

For Jacob’s mitzvah project, he had high hopes until the war broke out in Israel following the attack on October 7.

“Jacob wanted to raise money by making bracelets and buying a set of ukuleles for Bornblum’s music program,” explained Rachel. “He loves music and takes trumpet lessons with Jonathan Lax. It became challenging to try to raise money at that time.” He now plans to work with Mrs. Ariel Figueroa, who runs Tot Shabbat at Beth Sholom to add more music to their programming.

“We were so proud of Jacob,” said Greg. “He has a deep love of Judaism, which has been nurtured through his education at Bornblum and relationship with Beth Sholom.”

“Jacob enjoyed every aspect of his weekend, which was the best part to witness,” said Rachel. “He is a true mensch and has a deep love of learning. He amazed us at the bimah, and it was truly unforgettable. And the look on Jacob’s face all weekend was the best part!”

All in all, the weekend of ceremony and celebrations was everything and more than the family anticipated.

“After experiencing a bat mitzvah the weekend COVID protocols were going in place, this was a weekend full of emotion,” said Rachel and Greg. “There was a sense of relief, amazement, and appreciation. We also felt a lot of gratitude. Einat was fabulous as always. I will always turn to her for any special occasions. She is ready to handle any situation that arises and can turn any space into an innovative and beautiful environment!

“We were also so grateful to have our out of towners and friends with us to celebrate this time around,” they agreed. “There was such a sense of relief that the weekend happened and went off without any worldwide pandemics!”

Party Planner: Einat Loskovitz with Eventful Party Planning

Photographer: Paige Miller Photography

Florist: L & Jay Productions

Caterer: Paradox Catering

Dance floor vinyl: Create 10 Me

DJ: DJ Wurz

Dessert: Ben & Jerry’s

Cake: Jessica Lambert

Linens: Elegant Chair Solutions

Balloons: Pop Culture

Invitations: RSVP Stationers

Photobooth: Photobooth Bling

Party Favors: Jay with Peer Pressure Kustomz (airbrush)