Book More Jewish Weddings with Pat Blackwell

#13 Bar Mitzvah: Business lessons we can learn from 13 year old Jewish boys

April 21, 2021 Pat Blackwell Season 1 Episode 13
Book More Jewish Weddings with Pat Blackwell
#13 Bar Mitzvah: Business lessons we can learn from 13 year old Jewish boys
Show Notes Transcript

At the age of 13, boys become men in the Jewish world, they become bar mitzvah.  This is a huge undertaking and involves planning, tutoring, learning a new language, public speaking, giving back to the community, and a whole lot more.   You know that saying everything I really need to know, I learned in kindergarten...... well that could apply to bar mitvah too.   Everything you really need to know about business, Jewish boys learn in planning their bar mitzvah.

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Hello there, and welcome to the book more Jewish weddings with Pat Blackwell podcast. This is episode number 13. In the Jewish world, when a boy turns 13, he becomes Bar Mitzvah, so I just couldn't resist making my 13th podcast all about bar mitzvahs and not weddings. Like I said, when a Jewish boy turns 13, he becomes an adult in the Jewish community. Today we're going to talk about how becoming an adult has responsibilities. Kinda like when your hobby finally grows into a full time business. As a Catholic farm girl in Minnesota, I certainly never expected to ever be the Jewish party maybe. But 4400 parties and 26 years later, I am indeed an expert at Jewish party. I am fiercely committed to helping the best vendors book more parties in this amazing, lucrative and incredibly loyal Jewish party market. Let's go when a Jewish boy turns 13 years old, is called a bar mitzvah. Bar mitzvah ceremony marks a boy's assumption of religious and legal obligations as a man under Jewish law. Some people think that the bar mitzvah is all about the party. But that party is just the reward for all of the hard work put into study to become Bar Mitzvah. at the bar mitzvah ceremony in the synagogue, the boy is called up in front of his family and friends, to read from the Torah that sacred scroll. This Torah is written in Hebrew. So to read from it, the boy first has to learn to read Hebrew, then most synagogues have the Burma to avoid publicly talk about His Torah portion, and why it is significant to his life today. This is no small undertaking, either. Let's think about this for a bit. Families expect their son to learn a second language, and then to develop some serious public speaking skills, which they will use to explain their understanding of the Torah portion, and why it is important to them. All of this at 13 years old. Do you have kids? Would your 13 year old be able to do this? My Three Sons are all really terrific, and I'm very proud of them. But none of them speak a second language. None of them are experienced public speakers. None of them are likely terrific speech writers either. They have zero experience at any of this. What an amazing gift of self confidence Jewish parents give to their children by having them go through this bar mitzvah process. It really is a life changing event for most kids. Today, for most of us, it is the year 2021. But for Jewish people, this is the year 5781. For almost all of that time, Bar Mitzvah was reserved just for boys. Today, boys become Bar Mitzvah at age 13. And girls become bat mitzvah at age 12. And we take this all for granted. But in America, the first girl became bat mitzvah in 1921, just 100 years ago this year. Today, most reform and conservative synagogues offer bar Bat Mitzvahs to their youngsters. But many have also started offering adult Bat Mitzvah services classes for those women who were not offered this option as children. Most orthodox communities still reserved reading from the Torah for men, and they do not celebrate Bat Mitzvah for girls. But reform and conservative have bar mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs. mitzvah literally means a holy or selfless act a good deed. Many synagogues require some type of mitzvah to be completed by the child as part of the preparation for the public bar Bat Mitzvah ceremony. When I read the Jewish news each week, it's interesting to see the variety of mitzvah projects completed locally. Some kids volunteer with seniors, or those with disabilities. Other kids collect donations for camp or sporting goods for underprivileged schools. Some mitzvah projects are very elaborate. Bar Mitzvah to many people just means a party. And these parties are epic. My company, the red coat ladies has had the pleasure of managing Bar Mitzvah parties. For over 26 years. We've managed over 3200 of these amazing celebrations. It's been fun to have these Bar Mitzvah kids grow up, and then I get to be part of their wedding too. It's awesome. I have several families where I did the kids Bar Mitzvah party, then the parents wedding, then their children's Bar Mitzvah It's a real honor. For a Jewish kid. The years between his 12th and 14th birthday are often a whirlwind of social life between attending their friends ceremonies during the day and their parties at night. I often wonder how they'll ever survive their academic year was such social pressure every weekend, yet, somehow, kids rise to the challenge and thrive. One of the local rabbis has chosen to make the celebration after the ceremony, a mitzvah important to his kids. His daughter Maddie made arrangements with a school in Detroit that no longer had a library or an art program. Maddie mounted a huge book drive for weeks prior to her Bat Mitzvah ceremony. Then instead of a party with drinks and dancing, she loaded her friends on buses and drove them downtown. They went to that rundown school in Detroit and they created a library for the school. They had enough books to both stock a library and send each kid home with their very own book. It was amazing. But it didn't stop there. Maddie organized a system were for that day her friends mentored kids, Detroit kids to make art projects and tie no sew blankets. Each one of those Detroit kids went home with a book, an art project and a blanket. Talk about setting an example for the community. Well done Maddy and well done to the parents for what they're teaching their kids about helping others. Jewish families place a very high value on education. Around the world, Jews are more highly educated than any other major religious group. In America, 61% of Jews have college degrees compared with just 30% of the general American population. Further 34% of Jewish Americans have advanced degrees. Perhaps this explains why the median income of Jewish Americans is nearly three times that of Americans in general. Over 44% of Jewish Americans have a household income of over$100,000. This Jewish system seems to be working. I think we could all learn something here. And without thinking about it too hard. I've come up with 13 ways that becoming Bar Mitzvah is good for kids. And how many of those same lessons could be good for your business? Number one, setting goals. Number two, learning something new. Number three, asking for help. Number four, facing your fears. Number five, self analysis. Number six, learning to set priorities. Number seven, accepting responsibilities. Number eight, becoming more mature. Number nine, giving to charity. Number 10. Getting involved in something that's important to you. Number 11, daring to be different. Number 12, supporting your friends, and number 13. Celebrating the wins. Let's break down each of these into how they can be good for your business. Number one setting goals. Most Jewish parents select the date of their child's bar but mitzvah for years in advance of the ceremony. They publicly declare a date and mark it on their calendar. Then they enroll their kid in Hebrew school and get the step by step training to get their child ready. What are your company goals? What's your step by step plan to achieve those goals? Do you have a daily goal a weekly goal a monthly goal a quarterly goal, an annual goal? Maybe you even have a five year plan. There's a quote I really like that says a goal without a plan is just a wish. Does your business have a plan? Or is it just a wish? Ask yourself is what I'm doing today getting me closer to where I want to be tomorrow. Number two, learning something new. Jewish kids have to learn a whole new language to become BarMitzvah. You're here listening to this podcast. So it seems you're committed to learning to code for you. I'm still learning new things every week and every party. That's what makes this party world so much fun. Number three, asking for help. Almost every Jewish kid has a Hebrew tutor. Some have tutors to help write their speeches to we should all take a page from their book and learn to ask for help. Likely you started your business as a photographer because you enjoyed taking pictures or you started a catering business because you love cooking. Most of us never started out in business school. But now that you are running a business, where do you need to ask for help? Do you need some help with finances? Or bookkeeping? Do you need some help with marketing or social media? Do you need some help with hiring the right people to help you grow your business to the next step? Ask for help. At the Jewish party Maven, we offer private coaching, team training, or digital courses, all designed to help vendors understand the tradition. So very important to Jewish celebrations. Check out our website, Jewish party, for some more information about how we can work together. Number four, facing your fears. Most of those kids are terrified that they won't be able to get up there in front of their family and friends, and do a great job. But they practice and practice and work and work and work and they do it. What are you afraid of in your business? How can you get past that fear? What training can help you what people can help you? What will that confidence do for you once you prove to yourself that you can do this? Number five, self analysis. Jewish kids have to talk about how their Torah portion impacts their life. How is your business impacting your life? Are you ignoring your family? Are you charging enough money to make this a real business? Are you working efficiently? What can you do differently in your business to make it better? Self analysis is almost always helpful. Number six, learning to set priorities. Jewish kids have to learn to balance Hebrew school academics and their social life. They often can't do it all. And so they have to learn to set priorities. You have to do the same thing in your business. what's truly important to the success of your business? Is your marketing campaign effective or just fun? Is your new employee actually saving you time or money? What's the best use of your time, learning to set priorities is a skill that will help you throughout your life and throughout your business. Number seven, accepting responsibilities. Once they become Bar Mitzvah, they're considered adult in the Jewish community. No one else can do this for them. They have to read from the Torah, they have to do their speech all by themselves. adults have a different set of responsibilities and expectations. As a business owner, you have some responsibilities and expectations to to yourself and to your employees, but also to your customers. Are you being a responsible business owner? Do you have the proper licenses and insurance? Do you have the legal protections you might need if something goes wrong? Number eight, becoming more mature. At the start of the bar mitzvah training, the permits for boy is definitely a child. Upon completion of the ceremony. The bar mitzvah boy is now an adult. What about your business? Are you just starting out? Or are you a mature adult business? Do you have a real business or just a hobby? Do you have a separate business bank account? Do you have the systems in place to grow? Do you have employees or contractors? Do you have documents signed? Explain know the rules for them? Do you have a non compete clause? Do you have a trademark or copyright? It goes on and on? the responsibilities of adulthood never seem to end. And the responsibilities of running a proper business don't seem to end either. But there are certainly some payoffs. There's a quote by Ann Landers that I like she says, maturity isn't a product of growing older. It's a product of growing wiser. Number nine giving to charity. part of the process of becoming BarMitzvah is to perform a mitzvah a good deed to give back. Of course, making a profit is important, but so is giving back to the community that helps your business succeed. Number 10. Getting involved in something that is important to you. A kid going through the bar mitzvah process gets to choose his mitzvah project. He gets to decide where to volunteer his time and his effort and often his money. If you're a regular listener to this podcast, then likely you heard my podcast interview with Dennis Barnard, the president of the Jewish foundation. He talks about how important it is to get involved in something you genuinely care About. If you missed it, you can go to my website at Jewish party Maven slash 10. What are you passionate about? Where can you get involved in your community? Where can you get involved in the Jewish community? Number 11 daring to be different. Each boy who goes through the bar mitzvah process gets to choose what he will talk about during the ceremony. He gets to choose a theme for his Bar Mitzvah party, sports party dance party trip to Cedar Point or travel with his family, he gets to do something that uniquely represents him. And every kid wants his party to be different from every other party. So what's going on with your business? What do you do in your business that sets you apart from everyone else? Number 12. Support your friends. Every Bar Mitzvah kid invites his friends to a celebration and his party. If no one showed up, he would feel awful. His friends, the other 13 year old Jewish kids are having parties too. And he should support them by coming to their service as well as their party. I'm sure there are some days when a 13 year old kid says Oh mom, I'm too tired to go to another party. Oh, Mom, I don't really like that good anymore. Oh, Mom, the cool kids aren't going to that party Do I really have to go. Support your friends in your business as part of the whole party world, likely your friends or other vendors, it's important to support your friends. It's important to support those vendors to this year with COVID the necessity of supporting your friends has become even more important than ever. And it's not always about money. It's often as easy as not saying bad things about other vendors. supporting your vendors by liking and commenting on their social media posts can be about referring good vendors to your clients. Or, Hey, I got a question for you today. Leave me a podcast review on whatever platform you're listening to. Thank you for your support. Number 13. Celebrating the wins. Preparing for a bar mitzvah is a big achievement and kids celebrate that achievement with a big epic party. Now, I'm not suggesting you go throw an awesome party with every business win. But I am trying to remind you to celebrate your wins. When you reach some goals, take some time with your team, share those wins. Take some time for yourself. Maybe a nice walk, maybe a nice dinner, maybe a massage, whatever you see as a reward. The Jewish people put high priority on education and high priority on celebrating. We could all learn something from those life lessons. Oh, well, that was 13 ways that becoming a bar mitzvah is good for kids. And how many of those same lessons would be good for your business? regal Dawson said the only difference between where you are and where you want to be is the steps you haven't taken yet. Now go out there and take some action. Then join me here next week for another podcast about how to book more Jewish weddings. Thank you for listening