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Olymtsvah: Cool Bat Mitzvah Party Ideas for the Olympians

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So many first-timers these days! Here’s another one, a cool Bat Mitzvah party of a young figure skater whose mom is an Olympian and won medals around the world. The Olympics theme was a natural choice for this dashing party, so prepare for the burst of action, fun, and colors!

Creative Mitzvah Portraits

Why “first-timer”? I shot Mitzvah parties, mixed them into my events portfolio, but never got to find time to blog about any of them. The only thing I managed for Bar/Bat Mitzvah clients was posting samples from their creative portrait sessions. Such photoshoots borrow the advanced techniques from my beauty and fine art portfolio and adapt to the fun younger audience:

Meet the Champions!

Now, let me welcome Galit Chait. If you’re into ice skating, especially in Israel, she’d need no introduction—a retired figure skating champion and now the lead Olympic coach for the Israeli team. She’s among those of my clients who have a Wikipedia page. Among her many trophies won during 1995-2006, are gold medals at international competitions in Israel and France, silvers at the Cups of China, Russia, Germany, US, and Canada; the bronzes at the World Championship, and competing in three Olympic Games, 1998, 2002, and 2006!

I’ve worked with Galit’s family since 2013. Several events later, comes her daughter Rafaella’s Bat Mitzvah. The young talent followed her mom’s steps into figure skating. And how can you resist (or avoid, ha-ha) when the country’s principal Olympic coach is your mom?? Oh, and your grandfather, Boris Chait, has been the president of the Israeli Ice Skating Federation since 2002? Although she’s too young for the major championships, she already competes locally, and is on her way to the higher league.

By the way, Galit coaches other kids aged 5+ at the Montclair University Ice Arena, too! Head over to her Instagram and DM “Ice” to learn to skate like a champion!

Poor Rafaella had already had her actual birthday four months ago… The party was first rescheduled because of the major spike in COVID cases in December (omicron variant). Then the Beijing Olympics had to move the date again, but finally, her cool Bat Mitzvah party took place last week and compensated for the wait!

The Olympics Bat Mitzvah Theme

The celebration was held at the Milan Banquet Hall in Garfield, NJ. As I entered the hall, I met the event planner and designer Tamara Kogan of Aramat Events, and knew immediately that the thematic décor will be top-notch. Then, right by the “kids’ table” (which actually gathered the closest friends and peers, including young adults) I saw a dessert table… What a stylish galore of sweetness by Skazka Cakes! A fun fact about me—I’m a sucker for sweets!

Kindly refrain from re-uploading images to social media during the first week of the exclusive feature. Share instead and give credit to @ZorzStudios. Thank you for your help!

As usual, I started off with doing the family portraits. This is a recommended approach before guests start arriving and things get busy. The details and décor shots are also best captured before the official start, so it’s a good idea to have a photographer begin half an hour earlier.

The lovely Bat Mitzvah dress is from the Party Girl store in Tenafly, NJ.

Genuinely Kind Heart

My next heart-warming moment was seeing how Rafaella greeted her guests, from young to old. You could tell how sincere she is, how beautiful her soul is. You know, a teen can politely greet, scream with joy, or hug a bestie. This girl also absorbs. She savors the moment of meeting someone meaningful in her life, and will not rush to let a person go. There was her mom’s ob-gyn who helped her come into this world. His wife, as I understood, made her a custom necklace. Rafaella was overwhelmed with emotions… and held that hug quite long.

Cool Bat Mitzvah Party Ideas for the Champions

Galit arranged for one heck of an entertainment for this cool Bat Mitzvah party! First, you’d lose your mind and a sense of logic with the master illusionist, Elliot Zimet. He amazed the crowds at the Broadway shows, US Secret Service, celebrity hangouts, Grammy parties, major retailers, and hotel chains. When you appear on America’s Got Talent, VH1, and MTV, the Olympian’s party is a worthy addition! We all know these are just crafty tricks, but the reality defied us, adults, let alone the kids. Those bunnies coming out of bare hands with rolled-up sleeves… The trick with a phone password popped the eyes, as you can see.

Some of you may have already seen a trendy 360 degree photo booth already. It gained traction about five years ago, of which we may omit two. It’s a fairly novel experience. As the industry is recovering from the pandemic, I’ve seen several this year already. Our cool Bat Mitzvah party served as a perfect ground for its supercharged appeal, and the guys from 360 Ent 1 rocked it!

And the final spectacular touch was added with a captivating singing duet of Anastasy and Gennaro accompanied by Mike Pro DJ. They kept the crowd going and going, young to old.

Vibrant Colors, Fun Dancing, Amazing Friendship

The vibrant colors of this cool Bat Mitzvah party were just mesmerizing. Granted, it’s a teen party, but the stylish guests helped a lot, too! You could feel how tight-knit the friendship is among many. By the way, there were also tennis friends! And then, the dancing. Remember, figure skaters. Ice dancers. Passionate artists. Team players. Guys who spend years playing, traveling, rehearsing, supporting, and having fun together. There was no lack of moves and paired dances, which are sometimes on an awkward side among other teens.

Bat Mitzvah Candle Lighting

Ok, so this is a key part of any Bar/Bat Mitzvah party. The guest of honor invites his/her special people (including on behalf of those who cannot be there), to light a candle. Doing so recognizes the family and friends who have impacted the Mitzvah child. There are 13 candles, same as the child’s age, and it is usually the parents, grandparents, siblings, other relatives, followed by friends of family, and friends of the child. The last group presents a fun opportunity for a group photo. Sometime, the 14th candle is lit by the teen for good luck. It’s curious to listen to the music picked for each group as it tries to characterize a person/group.

Your Pocket Entertainment

This family will get their full set of the group photos separately, but there is something different I wanted to share with you right here. Meet mini-Francesco, Rafaella’s little brother Matteo. Well, first I should mention that Galit’s husband Francesco was an Italian military policeman. A fairytale happened at the 2006 Olympic Games in Italy, where Moracci was a member of the security for the Israeli team. Now, look at these two guys and find a difference. I don’t know their characters, but the mini version is a walking comedy club. Here’s a collage of his ideas for portraits during that candle lighting ceremony. I cropped these out of the “formal” photos!

The Final Acts

A traditional Jewish Hora dance, lifting the family on chairs, father-daughter dance, cake cutting, and more crazy dancing concluded this crazy cool Bat Mitzvah party. What a memorable and beautiful celebration to share! Thank you for the honors, Galit and Francesco! Kindest wishes to your children, and FTW to Rafaella!

And a quick reel I made that day:

Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.

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