Advice from the Mavens

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Special sections have become a regular feature for years in newspapers, and the Exponent is no exception. Blatant promo: Look for our Winter Holiday Magazine in the Nov. 23 issue.

The 1995 issue touted a supplement called Today’s Family, which included a guide to independent schools, an article called “Measuring Up” about childhood development, and another titled “Advice from the Mavens: A Guide to Stress-Free Bar Mitzvah Planning.”

The latter was presented in roundtable style, with five readers sharing their experiences in planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

The article contains plenty of common sense advice that still applies 22 years later, but given recent trends — see the article in our Oct. 5 Simchas supplement, speaking of special sections — some of the material appears outdated, especially when it comes to venues.

“I suggest holding the reception at the synagogue, your home or a kosher facility. Visit the site while another affair is taking place. Look for cleanliness, janitorial services, the availability of appropriate air conditioning or heating, handicapped accessibility and cloakroom procedure,” Selma Harris Forstater said.

While the second two suggestions remain spot-on advice, your kid likely isn’t going to be happy having his/her big day at your home or synagogue when their pals are having events at Lincoln Financial Field or the Battleship New Jersey.