A Day of Family, Ceremony, Nature, and Fun
Friends and family came together from across the country to celebrate Blake’s bar mitzvah in Boulder, Colorado at the historic Chautauqua Dining Hall and its surrounding Park.
The day celebrated a major achievement for Blake, bringing together all his hard work, study, focus, and dedication over many months. Many of his mentors, including his Rabbi, family, and friends spoke of his dedication to learning, curiosity, persistence in reaching goals, and his maturity.
The stories told showed Blake as an evolving leader. The kind of person who looks after his teammates and makes sure everyone has fun and moves toward success–together.
The bar mitzvah centered on integral themes of family, tradition, and learning, with elements showing Blake’s personality. Touches like a nature walk between the ceremony and the brunch illustrate Blake’s love of nature. And, the fact that most of his extended family decided to go along for a stretch, proves that love is mutual.
Blake’s 13 Challenges
As part of the preparation for his bar mitzvah, Blake created and completed 13 different challenges encompassing the spiritual, intellectual, and physical world. The goal was to gain skills for his emerging adulthood and beyond. He tried out many different experiences and developed a support system of peers and mentors.
Here is a quick summary of those challenges:
- Read a book about the Holocaust.
- Listened to stories from a Holocaust survivor.
- Learned how to make Jewish foods including bagels, hamantaschen, and matzo ball soup from his Mom and Grandma Honey. Blake also made the bread given to attendants at the end of his bar mitzvah service.
- Interviewed his grandparents about historic events in their lives.
- Helped with a home remodel, getting experience in how to pull off baseboards, rip up tile, frame, and use assorted tools.
- Worked on getting great grades at school, despite challenges in school format.
- Investigated how different businesses work and what they do to succeed.
- Explored the basics needed to open a business, should he want to do so in the future.
- Learned the ABCs of playing the piano.
- Studied how to read and say all of the blessings at his bar mitzvah.
- Learned how to read Hebrew starting in January, a great preparation to read from the Torah and all the blessings for the bar mitzvah.
- Got the hang of meditating through an app called Headspace which helped him to stay calm and sleep better.
- Started working hard at his passion for baseball so he can make the high school team, like his friends.
Following the ceremonies, Blake chose to celebrate his bar mitzvah in his neighborhood common area with food and a variety of recreational activities. Friends and family enjoyed playing wiffle ball, swimming, table tennis, and corn hole bean bag toss.
A slide show played favorite photo memories of Blake over the years on the big screen.
Everyone officially cooled off from the heat with treats from the Sweet Cow MooMobile ice cream truck.
Blake enjoyed helping the staff distribute ice cream flavors, giving everyone a true taste of summer.