Non-Jewish kids are demanding lavish faux mitzvahs, reports People, via Volokh Conspiracy. David Bernstein quotes the story, which is not online:
Welcome to the strange new world of faux mitzvahs, where non- Jewish teens like Kimya Zahedi–whose parents are Iranian-born Muslims–and Taylor Lasley, African-American and Presbyterian, get to party like it’s 5764 (that’s 2004 on the Hebrew calendar). A centuries-old Jewish tradition, bar mitzvahs (for boys) and bat mitzvahs (for girls) mark the passage from childhood to adulthood with rituals like candlelighting and slicing braided bread called challah, as well as with elaborate and often expensive celebrations. Now more and more non-Jewish kids are insisting on their own bar or bat mitzvah-style parties–without the religious rites and months of studious preparation–when they turn 13. “You see how you can have so much fun with so many people,” says Kimya, who attends one or two bar or bat mitzvahs every weekend in and around her wealthy neighborhood in Alpine, N.J.
The kids are insisting? What happened to “no,” I wonder.
It’s possible to have a cheap bat mitzvah, by the way. I did it for my daughter. Because I’m cheap. It was a great experience. I think we spent less on the whole thing than the parents of one of her friends spent on invitations.