Cynthia Viola Photography

Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Anna's Bat Mitzvah at 1705 East

Bar/Bat MitzvahCynthia ViolaComment
If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough
— Ellen Johnson
Fire and Ice Bat Mitzvah

What an incredible first event of the year! My heart has always been with weddings but mitzvah celebrations have never ever disappointed. These incredible teens work so hard to prepare for their ceremony and their friends and families reward with so much love and happiness as they dance the night away. The first time I met Anna was actually just after her ceremony which is usually not how I work, but it was necessary due to traveling arrangements and whatnot so as soon as I met her I asked her like a million questions and absolutely loved her right away!

She is THE CUTEST! When I asked her what she was most looking forward to with the party she said the food! With good reason too! 1705 East is amazing; she had a Banana's Foster Bar and everything! Of course Lyn at Fresh Affairs worked with Alisha to make the whole event a night to remember! Anna chose a fire and ice theme and they went all out with the decorations; every guest also participated by wearing red and white and the DJs joined in on the fun with a fog machine! I don't think anyone will soon forget this night!

I'm so happy for you and proud of you Anna!! Thank you for letting me participate in your most epic day!

Fire and Ice Bat Mitzvah
Fire and Ice Bat Mitzvah
Fire and Ice Bat Mitzvah
Fire and Ice Bat Mitzvah
Fire and Ice Bat Mitzvah
Fire and Ice Bat Mitzvah
Fire and Ice Bat Mitzvah
Fire and Ice Bat Mitzvah
Fire and Ice Bat Mitzvah
Fire and Ice Bat Mitzvah
Fire and Ice Bat Mitzvah

 

The Vendors who made the Day Possible

Photographer: Cynthia Viola

Synagogue: Beth Meyer

Rabbi: Eric Solomon

Reception Venue & Catering: 1705 East

Event Designer: Lyn Graves with Fresh Affairs

Photobooth: Shutterbooth

DJ: Spin

Ice Sculpture: Ice Occasions of NC

Favors: Oo Shirts

Invitations: Event Prints


If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy: Other Bar and Bat Mitzvahs

Jordan's Bar Mitzvah at Traine

Bar/Bat MitzvahCynthia ViolaComment
The ship is safest in the port. But that’s not what ships were made for.
— Paulo Coelho
Raleigh Bar Mitzvah

More and more, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are becoming my favorite events to shoot, and it's because of incredible young adults like Jordan. I met him a couple months ago when we began the planning stages of his big party and thought he was incredibly polite and had a sweet 12 year old excitement in him, (he's a huge baseball fan). Similarly when I met up with him a few weeks ago for his baseball portraits I thought he was adorable and super fun. 

The transformation that happens in the last few weeks of Bar and Bat Mitzvah training, however, never ceases to amaze me. The stress of memorizing so much Hebrew, the pressure to fully understand a passage of scripture and make it relatable to your family and peers and to actually stand up in front of them with confidence that all the hard work put in made a difference - it changes them. 

Raleigh Bar Mitzvah

They're only thirteen of course, so they still have a liveliness about them and ability to play and enjoy the world, but they're also somehow much wiser than they were at twelve. Listening to Jordan practice his Torah Portion during the rehearsal I almost choked up. He made it relevant to his love of baseball, and connected the dangers of favoritism in a simple school sport with the greater dangers facing world today in a growing racially divided world. His maturity both on and off stage this weekend was awesome. 

Additionally, you will not find a more awesome family. Their love for each other pours out in everything they do, Jeff and Jodi have set such an incredible example of what it means to love each other fiercely and make life an epic party. Their extended family attests to that as well, they poured in from all over the country to celebrate this weekend. And I've said it before but nothing makes me happier than a great sibling relationship; Rachel and Jordan are the very best of friends, they pick on each other relentlessly and always have time for a huge bear hug. Love them. 

I'm so glad I got to participate in your huge day Jordan! SO proud of you!

Raleigh Bar Mitzvah
Raleigh Bar Mitzvah
Raleigh Bar Mitzvah
Raleigh Bar Mitzvah
Raleigh Bar Mitzvah
Raleigh Bar Mitzvah

(The three of us *might* have agreed not to tell mom that he jumped off a train before entering the party lol. I mean, who am I to deny a teen two of my favorite things: risk and adventure) :)

Raleigh Bar Mitzvah
Raleigh Bar Mitzvah
Raleigh Bar Mitzvah
Raleigh Bar Mitzvah
Raleigh Bar Mitzvah

 

The Vendors who made the weekend possible:

Photographer: Cynthia Viola Photography

Synagogue: Beth Meyer

Rabbi: Eric Solomon

Tutor: Cathy Kaplan

Reception Venue: Traine

Flowers: Fallon's Flowers

Catering: Catering Works

DJ: Damien Maass

Photobooth: ZimZoom

 

Anna's Bat Mitzvah at Carolina Inn

Bar/Bat MitzvahCynthia ViolaComment
You don’t have time to be timid. You must be bold and daring
— Lumière, Beauty and the Beast
Bat Mitzvah Photography Raleigh

I continue to be blown away by the process of pre-teen becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. The weeks of extra classes, homework, language and life skills is rigorous, but they always come out on the other side this incredible, maturing young adult. Anna is no different. 

She was quite possibly the sweetest most innocent little beauty I'd ever met when we originally began planning her big day, and just a few short weeks later she was standing confidently in front of her family and peers not just reciting what she'd learned, but teaching. She gained a wisdom and confidence in her lessons that made her stronger. 

I'm hardly surprised though, Her Rabbi is incredible. When we were practicing the rehearsal at Kehillah Synagogue Rabbi Jen said, "Don't be afraid of losing your place or stumbling over the words. We are all here right beside you to help you through if you do. In fact, I'd rather you make a mistake to show you that it's ok and you will survive. Those who manage to go through it perfectly the first time don't get the life lesson of standing back up after they've fallen."

What incredible advice. Don't fear mistakes, but expect them and be excited about the wisdom you'll glean from them. 

Bat Mitzvah Photography Raleigh
Bat Mitzvah Photography Raleigh
Bat Mitzvah Photography Raleigh
Bat Mitzvah Photography Raleigh

Her party was perfect of course. With not one, but TWO phenomenal DJs, DJ A-Minor and DJSK, and the Elevate Motivational Dancers, the dance floor was full all night. Annas family flew in from all over the country and were such a joy to celebrate with. Here's a few images from the celebration! 

Carolina Inn Bat Mitzvah
Carolina Inn Bat Mitzvah
Carolina Inn Bat Mitzvah

 

The vendors who made the day possible: 

Photography: Cynthia Viola Photography

Ceremony Venue: Kehillah Synagogue, Chapel Hill

Reception Venue: Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill

Coordinator: Tiffany with The Details Events, Raleigh

DJs: DJ A Minor & DJSK

Entertainment: Elevate Motivational Dancers

Photobooth: Shutterbooth

Flowers: Alicia with Floral Expressions

Uplighting: DJ Rang

Favors: Miel Bon Bons, Durham

Balloons and Centerpieces: Balloons and Tunes

 

Ben's Bar Mitzvah at Beth Meyer & Sitti

Bar/Bat MitzvahCynthia ViolaComment
One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things
— Henry Miller
Bar Mitzvah at Beth Meyer

As soon as I met Ben's parents, Mara and Jon, I knew I was going to get along well with Ben. Not only are they super relaxed and easy to work with, but you could tell they really enjoyed each other. When the whole family got together, it was effortless for them to laugh and really live in the moment of the day. That is so important in a family. 

Ben is on the ultimate frisbee team at his school and he used his love of sports to infuse his studies for his Torah portion. For his service project he served at Miracle League of the Triangle. By helping kids with disabilities play baseball, he said he now appreciates the fact that his body is whole and he's able to play his favorite sports. He's able to empathize with how others cannot.  

Ben is quite the life of the party. It seemed as if every moment during his party he was completely engulfed in a crowd of his friends. Not only that, his whole family came to celebrate, from California, Florida, Virginia and more, they all showered him in love. 

Sitti is, of course, an amazing venue. The courtyard is perfect and provided an intimate and stylish downtown feel for the celebration. Amy and her team were so easy to work with, I highly recommend them. And well, Damien is forever my favorite DJ. He can keep the party going all night and always seems to know exactly what the crowd needs. 

I hope you guys enjoy reliving a few of these favorite moments from the weekend. Congratulations again Ben! 

Bar Mitzvah at Beth Meyer
Bar Mitzvah at Beth Meyer
Bar Mitzvah at Beth Meyer
Bar Mitzvah at Beth Meyer
Bar Mitzvah at Beth Meyer
Bar Mitzvah at Beth Meyer
Bar Mitzvah at Beth Meyer
Bar Mitzvah Sitti Raleigh
Bar Mitzvah Sitti Raleigh
Bar Mitzvah Sitti Raleigh
Bar Mitzvah Sitti Raleigh
Bar Mitzvah Sitti Raleigh

The Vendor Team

Photography: Cynthia Viola

Ceremony Venue: Beth Meyer

Party Venue: Sitti

Rabbi: Eric Solomon

DJ: Damien Maass

Balloons: Blooming Balloons

Photobooth: All Events DJs

Lexi's Bat Mitzvah at Embassy Suites Brier Creek

Family Portraits, Bar/Bat MitzvahCynthia ViolaComment
When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way
— Wayne Dyer

I knew Lexi and I were a great fit when I saw how she picked on her big brother at our first meeting. (and he wasn't even there) :) It's obvious they adore each other and that just makes me so happy. I love good sibling relationships. 

Lexi and Ricky both decided to do their Bat/Bar Mitzvah training online with Debbi, a marvelous wanderer who appreciates all the beauty in life and gives back through officiating all the important ceremonies in peoples' lives. 

Lexi blew me away with her beautiful interpretation of her Torah Portion. Standing proud in front of her family and peers at Embassy Suites, she talked about the importance of serving those who need help, particularly the hungry. She spent several weeks during her lessons collecting food for the food bank to be able to serve children who were going to bed hungry. Her goal is to see world hunger come to an end. She has such a beautiful heart. 

All day long her family and friends cheered her on and showered her with love as she celebrated this epic life event; I'm so happy I got to be a part of it! Lexi is a dancer, as are many of her friends, so they had some serious moves on the dance floor. Damien certainly did not disappoint either! He is my absolute favorite DJ; he can read a crowd better than anyone and really knows how to get kids excited and on the floor. 

Help me cheer Lexi on and enjoy some of my favorite images from the day!

Proud of you Lexi! I know your entire family is as well! Can't wait to see all the good you're going to continue to do in the world! Thank you for letting me be a part of your big celebration!

Venue/Catering: Jill Eaker at Embassy Suites Brier Creek

DJ: Damien Maass

Cantor: Debbi Ballard

Party Dress: Macy's

Photobooth: Zimzoom

Balloons: Judy at Blooming Balloons

Favors and Invitations: Aunt Ellen and Betsy :)