Bar-Mitzvah dress code?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Chrenetique, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    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. :) Not likely to be seeing one around these parts though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011


  2. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    May I ask where you were raised?

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


  3. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    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.


    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011


  4. taxgenius

    taxgenius Senior member

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    Wear whatever you would wear to a job interview. You can't go wrong.
     


  5. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    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?
     


  6. makewayhomer

    makewayhomer Senior member

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    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.
     


  7. davesmith

    davesmith Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    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!
     


  8. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    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?
     


  9. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    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!
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011


  10. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    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.
     


  11. sns23

    sns23 Senior member

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    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.
     


  12. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    ..
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011


  13. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    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.


    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011


  14. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011


  15. trigirdbers

    trigirdbers Well-Known Member

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    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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