Into the distressed (and distressing) landscape of wars, layoffs, bankruptcies, bailouts, foreclosures, rising unemployment, falling Dow, maxed shelters, and a goniff on every street corner, comes destination Bar Mitzvahs.
Jeez, aren’t destination weddings bad enough?
While families are losing their homes, jobs, health coverage, retirement funds, cold hard cash and, sometimes, minds, overindulged 13-year-olds are chanting between sips of virgin daiquiris.
Bypassing the neighborhood synagogue—the traditional site for marking a Bar or Bat Mitzvah—well-heeled families can now make a quasi-religious pilgrimage with their nearest and dearest to the Caribbean.
Catering to this affluent niche group are Web-based event planners who would lust to set up your Bar in Margaritaville!
What next? Dovening in Disney World? Shabbat in Sheboygan—with treif brats and beer? Brises in Bermuda? Slice the schmekel on Pink Beach at noon followed by barbecued brisket (first cut, of course).
Only in America.
Maybe you’re the recipient of a coveted invitation, and you need a little help planning.
First, destination Bars take place in all-inclusive waterfront resorts. For a few shekels shy of the economic stimulus package, you’ll get the whole megillah: custom-fit wetsuits, lox and bagels on demand, massages under a chuppa and sunset dovening on the dock.
Packing for a destination Bar Mitzvah is a breeze. No need to break out tasteful knits and pearls, or the navy pinstripe and Italian leather loafers.
For this coming-of-age party, leave your bowtie and cummerbund on the doorstep. Just toss shorts and flip-flops into a bag. Add snorkel gear, sunscreen and fishing flies along with your tefillin, prayer book and Star of David.
And don’t forget the Lomotil.
Some consider it a great privilege, forking over gelt and schlepping to the tropics to hear a pimply youth screech Hebrew against the ocean’s roar.
Let them eat challah. I think I’ll pass. Maybe someone will send me the DVD for Hannukah.