| There it was in the mail: a letter
from my Conservative synagogue inviting parents of children who would turn
13 in the year 2002 to a Bnai Mitzvah meeting. It was my second time attending
such a meeting and again I noticed that the anxiety levels in the room were
high. Again I thought with glee, I'm not really part of this - I don't have
to participate in this anxiety because I have an ``alternate plan.''
And while I knew that my family's ``alternate plan'' had its own issues,
I did not anticipate that Middle East madness would be part of it. But let
me start at the beginning.
Faced with the decision to celebrate my daughter's Bat Mitzvah at home
or in Israel, the choice was and is easy. There was virtually no discussion
and no hesitation. We believe that celebrating Bnai Mitzvah in Israel increases
the significance of the event and that money spent on such a trip is money
well-spent. Added to this is that her older brother had celebrated his Bar
Mitzvah in Israel -- the genesis of the book Bar and Bat Mitzvah in Israel:
The Ultimate Family Sourcebook -- and there was no doubt in my
daughter's mind that a repeat of that event would be great. My husband concurred
and so we began to think about the options in Israel.