Mitzvah-Making and Party-Planning

by Brie Stimson February 27, 2017


img_5206Anything people need they can find there,” Lydia Krasner, co-owner of BESA San Diego says of their annual Bar and Bat Mitzvah expo this month.

And Krasner isn’t lying. There’s everything you could want or need for your party, and some things you didn’t even know you needed – like a digital caricaturist.

“Caricatures have become more popular now because they added digital technology,” Krasner says. For example, Digital Event Caricature, who will be at this year’s expo, draws and colors a person’s image on an iPad. The photo can either be printed out or emailed to the party goer.

The BESA Expo will have everything from caterers and decorators to photographers, DJs, invitation ideas and bands.

“It’s a one-stop shop,” Krasner says.

Although synagogues often provide approved lists of people and companies, by going to the expo “people … save a lot of time instead of making individual appointments,” Krasner explains.

“There’s a great energy in the room because you have all these pre-Bar and Bat Mitzvah kids and their parents and it’s so exciting to be in the room, and there’s music and there’s dancing and they get their hair sprayed funny and there’s free food and it’s just a party going on but it gives them so many ideas.”

Krasner says she sometimes has people come up to her whose parties were several years ago, and sometimes she talks to people whose parties are several years away.

For those who’ve been to the Expo before and think they’ve seen it all, she explains that there’s always something new to see each year.

Krasner, who’s been in the event business for more than 20 years, thinks she’s seen just about everything too, when it comes to Bar and Bat Mitzvahs (from mechanical bull rides to a “Hamilton”-themed party) but she never gets tired of it.

“[The Expo] is so much fun every year. Of course I walk away and I can barely talk because I’ve talked all day, but it’s just so much fun to see all these excited kids and parents hungry for information walking through the room, and everybody gets a bag when they come in and they get the BESA brochure, and they’re all just excited to go try everything.”

For those looking to get a jump start on their celebrations, this Simchas supplement will also help you prepare. Here, the Jewish Journal has compiled and updated its annual list of venues and vendors who will make any gathering a memorable one. We also check back in with Lydia Krasner for some tips on what’s trending this year, plus feature a modern ketubah artist, and a few personal stories of mitzvah-making.


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