Bat Mitvah Day


January 26, 2013 will go down in my book as one of the most perfect days of my life. Temera finally became a bat mitzvah. All her studying, all my planning, finally paid off and we had ourselves an amazing day filled with friends, family and a lot of love.

I woke up to sunny skies and not a drop of rain. The weather was perfect: not too hot, not too cold. Although we had some bumps in the morning when we weren’t sure some family members would make it to the service, everyone showed up and we had a full house at the Temple.

Temera was amazing. Her voice was beautiful and she chanted Hebrew like she had known the language all her life. No mistakes. I might have kvelled a little.

When you are sitting up on the bimah during an entire morning service, you don’t really get the perspective one gets by sitting in the audience. It’s hard to know what other people are seeing and experiencing. From what everyone was telling us, it was a beautiful service, full of warmth and intimacy. Despite the full house, you could feel the emotion of the day in the room.

I think David’s blessing to Temera and my speech to her went over exceptionally well. Not a dry eye in the house. No, I didn’t get through it without crying. Grown men were crying. I’m crying as I write this. It isn’t easy finding the words to tell your child how much she means to you. Even as a blogger, sometimes the right words escape me. Luckily, I think I was able to say everything I wanted to.

We always love our children, but when you see your child stand up for herself and literally grow up before your eyes, it’s a magical experience. As parents, we are always trying to do our best, but to see the light in my daughter’s eyes as she became a bat mitzvah is something I will never forget.

As I said to her that day… She is our blessing.

I’ll post more photos as soon as they come in from the friends and family who were taking them.

I also want to acknowledge that it took a huge village to put this day together.

Thank you to Bake You Happy for the incredible mini-cupcakes. Definitely mini was the way to go.

Thank you to David Jay Entertainment. I couldn’t have asked for a better DJ.

Thank you to Jennifer at the Embassy Suites. The party went off without a hitch, the food was amazing and the staff was wonderful.

Thank you to Rabbi Susan and Cantor Ken for guiding us through this entire process.

Thank you to Danny, Temera’s tutor, for not only teaching her Hebrew, but for instilling the belief in her that she could do anything.

Thank you to Harriet for all your help and advice.

Thank you to Jan for being there and taking the burden off of me Saturday morning.

Thank you to my Mother who helped prepare the kiddush, was a sounding board for all my stress, and for her exceptional table scrubbing skills.

Thank you to my Father-in-Law who help us pull this off financially. Planning a bat mitzvah is expensive, y’all.

Thank you to all our friends and family (near and far) who were able to share this day with us.

And the biggest thank you of all to David. You helped me give our daughter the most perfect bat mitzvah. It was exactly what we all hoped it would be.



  1. Hubby says

    Ahhhhh… thanks honey, but I think the biggest “thank you” should go to you, your idea’s and your planning. You did the brunt of the work in putting this all together. What a feat! You should be proud. It was a GRAND day. Love you. <3

  2. Heidi says

    It was truly beautiful! We enjoyed and were honored to be a part of such a rite of passage. Looking forward to sharing our Simcha with y’all!

    • Mary Tesselaar says

      It was an emotional, beautiful day and we were so pleased to be a part of it. I wish I’d thought to bring kleenex for the service! Hans said it was a fantastic party. All the details that went into the evening event to make it memorable for everyone of every age were amazing. The kids buffet, the adult buffet, the candy, the photo booth, the games, the socks, etc.. We had a great time and I will forward some pictures.

  3. Shauna says

    It was everything you said Carolyn, the day was just perfect! On the way to the Temple I pointed out to the kids that Los Angeles is only this beautiful after a rain storm. The weather was perfect, Temera was perfect and so beautiful in the ceremony! We loved meeting your family and friends and you could just feel all of the love that surrounds your family. Such a great group of people, and the party wow! You know how to throw a party :) You created a day that people will remember for the rest of their lives! God Bless!

    • Carolyn West says

      We were so honored that you guys came. Of all the people who were there, I know you would appreciate the religious and ritual aspects the most. Despite our different religions, I know how important your faith is to you – I’m just glad you had the chance to see how important ours is to us as well. We all just adore your family. So glad that our girls became friends.

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