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04/11/2005
Coming of age by: Leslie Bunder and Caroline Westbrook
FILED UNDER DAILY JEWS >> Arts
Barmitzvah Disco
Barmitzvah Disco

For the past few years, Barmitzvah Disco has been inviting web surfers to share their old Barmitzvah photos – with the emphasis on the cheesy and tacky, it soon became a Jewish cult favourite.

Now, following the submission of hundreds of photos, a book has been published that features the best of what can only be described as the funniest Barmitzvah snaps you will ever see.

Barmitzvah Disco the book not only offers visual treats but it also includes anecdotes from those people who have submitted photos, as well as those who recollect their own moments. These include contributions from the famous and not so famous, as well as should-be famous. Highlights include writing from Everything Is Illuminated author Jonathan Safran Foer and comedienne Sarah Silverman.

But it's the photos that really make this book what it is. Mainly based around America during the 70s and 80s, Barmitzvah Disco provides the book you've always wanted to read, but thought was never possible.

But it is possible, and the three authors, Roger Bennett, Jules Shell and Nick Kroll, should be congratulated for taking the time to do this. Bennett himself is a British ex-pat from Liverpool, who not only has his own photo shown in the book, but also has an article published about his Barmitzvah in the local Jewish Telegraph. All this and an introduction from the Village People (whose song YMCA is of course the staple of many a Barmitzvah disco)

The book itself has its chapters named after 80s pop songs, including Eternal Flame, I Think We're Alone Now and Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You). Among the visual highlights, we get to see Brett Gelman's Barmitzvah invite (made out like a flyer for a late night talk show), Gary Benerofe, dressed as an 80s rock star in a multicoloured wig and leopardskin jacket, and Matt Wood, who had a themed Barmitzvah serving food from a stand called 'Matt Donald's".

There are also several appearances from some of the Barmitzvah boys and their respective families, including Josh Weinberg of Long Island and Adam Smith from White Plains, New York. Batmitzvahs are also included, one of the best being Eileen Quast of Columbus Ohio, who had an 'Eileen's Deli theme for her party. As she says, "Most people's themes are their hobbies. Apparently my mother thought mine was 'New York Deli'".

This is something every Jewish home should have on their coffee table. How long before Barmitzvah Disco 2?

Barmitzvah Disco is published by Crown Publishers.

For more information, visit: www.barmitzvahdisco.com

 
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