When Maritza and Jeff Weiss of San Antonio, Texas, began to plan son Warren’s Bar Mitzvah, they considered the traditional format: a temple ceremony followed by a celebration near home.
But Warren is shy, and was stressed about having to perform his parts of the service before a large crowd.
So the Weisses chose another option: a cruise Bar Mitzvah. They contacted Ellen Paderson, founder of Bar & Bat Mitzvah Vacations, who arranged for the Cantor who helped prepare Warren via Skype to participate and officiate at the service, and coordinated all onboard arrangements.
The Weisses’ 15 family members and friends boarded the Carnival Conquest in Galveston with the ceremony planned for Monday.
Warren’s dad Jeff told me, “This 21st century option for a 3,000 year-old tradition enabled Warren to prepare for a service that suited him, where he became a Bar Mitzvah in front of those that love him the most without the pressures of a traditional event.”
The Bar Mitzvah guests enjoyed the rest of the 7-day cruise with stops at Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.
Warren’s mom agrees. “I would do it again for any of my other children This showcased the importance of becoming a Bar Mitzvah, rather than having a big party.”
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.