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Bar-Mitzvah dress code? - Page 2

post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdot View Post

You are kidding, right?

Nope... I now know it's a coming of age ceremony for Jewish people. That's what I like about SF, there is often something new to learn. smile.gif Not likely to be seeing one around these parts though.
post #17 of 63
May I ask where you were raised?

I'm trying to imagine where in the English speaking world this would be uncommon knowledge.
post #18 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdot View Post

May I ask where you were raised?

Sure...I was born and raised in Allonby, Cumbria, UK, then spent most of my life in Keynsham, near Bristol. A small town made famous by adverts on Radio Luxembourg in the '50s and '60s. I don't know anyone who's Jewish, or they haven't told me that they are.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdot View Post

I'm trying to imagine where in the English speaking world this would be uncommon knowledge.

Small towns and villages perhaps? I understand that many of the large Jewish communities are in major metropolitan cities, like London, New York plus Israel of course.

BTW I looked up how many Synagogues there are in China out of curiosity...there's two apparently, one in Beijing and one in Shanghai.

I bet there's many different religious customs and traditions that I've yet to learn about. I've learned a lot about Buddhism recently. Because that's what most people practise around here.
Edited by MikeDT - 12/18/11 at 5:02am
post #19 of 63
Wear whatever you would wear to a job interview. You can't go wrong.
post #20 of 63
Mike, very interesting. I've learned something about the world that I didn't expect. I would have thought that there were a fair number of Jewish people in the UK. But apparently not. Thank you for sharing.

Now in China, of course, I would expect to find very few people of the Judeo/Christian heritage. Although in Korea there are quite a few Christians.

The world is an endlessly fascinating mix of humanity. Ain't it?
post #21 of 63
I work for a British company (based in the north) and they were the only group of people I've met who were stunned to find out that I was Jewish, and even after I told them they didn't completely get it.

I think London is very different.
post #22 of 63

Any major western city should be familiar with a Jewish presence. Be it ultra orthodox (all dressed in black) or just sporting the skull cap!

post #23 of 63
I guess what surprises me is that it seems Jewish culture is widely portrayed in television here in the US - however stereotypical that portrayal might be - but apparently not much at all in the UK?

Even in most of small town and rural America I believe the vast majority would know what a Bar-Mitzvah is.

Fascinating how one assumes cultural similarities between the US and the UK that apparently do not exist.

Or have I just overestimated the 'reach' of media exposure into the collective mind?
post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrenetique View Post

Thread for the Jewish ones. A bar-mitzvah seems to be an important religious event, hence it should require "formal" dress (actually, a simple suit). But it usually takes place in the morning, and the party after the ceremony is often very, very casual... So, I think the "formal" suit demanded for weddings or funerals (charcoal or navy suit, crisp white shirt, black shoes, etc.) can look out of place for a bar-mitzvah. I may be wrong however. Is it correct to dress down just a little bit for this occasion? By "dressing down", I mean the usual SF attire: sportcoat with dark pants, subdued blue shirt, sober tie with a white pocket square, and dark brown monkstraps. Is it suitable?

(Unfortunately, I lost my Kiton tallit.)

I don't think that an accurate recommendation can be made without some additional context. It's important to understand that Judaism, especially in the United States, is not a monolithic structure. In fact, there are distinct sects, each of which has developed it's own set of traditions and traditional attire for bar and bat mitzvahs (let's not forget the girls!). Here, then, is a guide to proper attire, relative to each Jewish community:

Haredi / Ultra-Orthodox: black suit, black shoes, white shirt, tassles dangling at the waist (aka tzitzit).

Hasidic or Lubavitch: pretty much whatever the fashionably attired gent wore in Krakow circa 1780, as long as it's black. Bonus points if your suit smells like it has never been dry cleaned.

Modern Orthodox: as CBD as CBD comes. Dark grey sack suit, white shirt, dark tie, black belt and shoes.

Conservative: similar to MO, but blazers or muted sports coats are permissible. "Fun" ties are acceptable, as are ties with little stars of david or chai symbols.

Reform: a much wider range of suits, sportcoats and trousers are allowed, while staying within the realm of tailored menswear. Think Episcopalian wedding attire.

Reconstructionist: similar in appearance to Reform, but with obsessive avoidance of fabrics made from a blend of materials. No Cashco for you!

Humanistic: your cleanest jeans and t-shirt, preferably one that says Peace Now! in Hebrew, with Israeli and Palestinian flags on the back.

Aquarian Minyan (this may be a Berkeley only thing): just go with what feels right, dude, it's all good!
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpooPoker View Post

Bad move posting this on Friday night man. lol8[1].gif

Wait for in stitches to finish Shabbos, he will give you the low down.

Lol. Imatlas above nailed it tho. Totally depends on the crowd and what segment of jewish people you are dealing with.

My best advice, ask the family they invited you what would be proper attire, and that you want to dress in accordance with their custom. Do.what they say and you can't go wrong.
post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdot View Post

I guess what surprises me is that it seems Jewish culture is widely portrayed in television here in the US - however stereotypical that portrayal might be - but apparently not much at all in the UK?
Even in most of small town and rural America I believe the vast majority would know what a Bar-Mitzvah is.
Fascinating how one assumes cultural similarities between the US and the UK that apparently do not exist.
Or have I just overestimated the 'reach' of media exposure into the collective mind?

Large assumption. In many areas there are few, if any, jewish people. If there are not any jewish people in your area you will likely not have any interaction with the religion and know very little, if anything, about it.
post #27 of 63
..
Edited by MikeDT - 12/18/11 at 3:16pm
post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdot View Post

Mike, very interesting. I've learned something about the world that I didn't expect. I would have thought that there were a fair number of Jewish people in the UK. But apparently not. Thank you for sharing.

Now in China, of course, I would expect to find very few people of the Judeo/Christian heritage.

I've seen people in the UK wearing skull caps, but never mixed with them socially though. There's a lot of Chinese people in the UK, But then I didn't really know the names of their customs until I lived in China.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdot View Post

Although in Korea there are quite a few Christians.
The world is an endlessly fascinating mix of humanity. Ain't it?

It is, isn't it. I find many cultures, faiths and customs interesting actually. I've come across Christians in China, There's even a small place of worship here in Xilinhot, It's a room above a shop.

BTW my grandparents Roman Catholic, but I wasn't raised in their customs and traditions.
Edited by MikeDT - 12/18/11 at 3:46pm
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by davesmith View Post

Any major western city should be familiar with a Jewish presence. Be it ultra orthodox (all dressed in black) or just sporting the skull cap!

I've seen many people in the UK wearing turbans and sporting beards, but I don't know too much about Sikhism though. e.g. what their coming of age ceremony might be called, if they have one that is. Of course I can go on Wikipedia and find out, that's the beauty of the internet.
post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by imatlas View Post

I don't think that an accurate recommendation can be made without some additional context. It's important to understand that Judaism, especially in the United States, is not a monolithic structure. In fact, there are distinct sects, each of which has developed it's own set of traditions and traditional attire for bar and bat mitzvahs (let's not forget the girls!). Here, then, is a guide to proper attire, relative to each Jewish community:
Haredi / Ultra-Orthodox: black suit, black shoes, white shirt, tassles dangling at the waist (aka tzitzit).
Hasidic or Lubavitch: pretty much whatever the fashionably attired gent wore in Krakow circa 1780, as long as it's black. Bonus points if your suit smells like it has never been dry cleaned.
Modern Orthodox: as CBD as CBD comes. Dark grey sack suit, white shirt, dark tie, black belt and shoes.
Conservative: similar to MO, but blazers or muted sports coats are permissible. "Fun" ties are acceptable, as are ties with little stars of david or chai symbols.
Reform: a much wider range of suits, sportcoats and trousers are allowed, while staying within the realm of tailored menswear. Think Episcopalian wedding attire.
Reconstructionist: similar in appearance to Reform, but with obsessive avoidance of fabrics made from a blend of materials. No Cashco for you!
Humanistic: your cleanest jeans and t-shirt, preferably one that says Peace Now! in Hebrew, with Israeli and Palestinian flags on the back.
Aquarian Minyan (this may be a Berkeley only thing): just go with what feels right, dude, it's all good!

I don't know what groups of Conservative and Reform Jews you hang around with but a suit is definately de rigueur for bar/bat mitzvahs among all those that I have interacted with.
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