Bar Mitzvah A Go Go

The NY Times reports on the forthcoming release of Bar Mitzvah Disco.

TWO years ago three bored New Yorkers in their early 30’s were trapped inside an Upper West Side apartment on a rainy autumn day when the conversation came around to memories of their bar and bat mitzvah celebrations. On a whim they challenged one another to dig out their photo albums for group inspection.
A few days later all was laid bare: the boys in their tiny polyester three-piece suits, the girls towering over them with their careful yet enormous hair, the braces, the ruffled skirts, the acne, the relatives. “It was pretty startling to see how my parents allowed me to walk around with a pair of what were quite clearly women’s spectacles,” Roger Bennett said, recalling the queasiness he felt as he revisited photographs of himself sporting eyeglasses the size of cocktail coasters and a blue hair dye job for his punk-theme bar mitzvah party in 1983.
But their horrified fascination soon gave way to sociological awe. “What started as a joke between friends grew into an obsession,” said Mr. Bennett, who works for a charitable foundation [The Bronfmans! He runs Reboot. -Mo] and said it had been 17 years since he last looked at his album. Soon the three created a Web site [Which I built the first three versions of. -Mo] on which to post their photographs and invited readers to mail in their own to add to the collection. It struck a nerve: within months, Mr. Bennett and his partners, Jules Shell, an independent filmmaker, and Nick Kroll, a television comedy writer, had received so many photo albums, commemorative T-shirts and centerpieces via Federal Express that they had to rent warehouse space to store it all.
Now it is a book. A collection of more than 300 photographs culled from bar and bat mitzvahs from the 70’s to the early 90’s with essays by friends of the authors like Jonathan Safran Foer and Sarah Silverman, “Bar Mitzvah Disco,” which will appear in bookstores on Nov. 2.

Stay tuned for our feature on BMD along with our interview with author Nick Kroll coming later this month.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.