It was hard to believe that eight years had gone by since I had last seen Daniel and his family! Daniel was a little guy then, but all that was changing as he, his family and his friends celebrated his Bar Mitzvah. I was excited to see the family again, and just as excited to be a part of the celebration– they had an incredible party planned!

Everything began with the traditional reading of the Torah. I met Daniel and his family at their synagogue on the morning of Daniel’s reading. I took a few pictures of Daniel before we headed in… he was confident! I would have been a nervous wreck!

Daniel’s mom was absolutely beaming while he read. She couldn’t have been more proud of her son!
Daniel’s grandma was there, smiling as participated in the tradition.
…and Daniel’s sister did her very best to stay awake and focused during the ceremony.
Daniel did a commendable job reading from the Torah, and he was officially an adult! Time to celebrate!
I met with the family again a few days later, on the day of Daniel’s party. And what a party it was, too. There was a nautical theme, as the celebration was staged in the Museum of Science and Industry’s U-505 Submarine exhibit, so of course Daniel arrived in full uniform, courtesy of a friend of the family.
We started off with pictures on the museum’s back steps. Daniel and his siblings had some fun while we waited for all the grown ups to get organized for family portraits.
When family pictures were done, we moved inside. I couldn’t wait to photograph around the exhibit… and Daniel was game, too. He has a huge interest in naval history, which is why this exhibit spoke to him. He’s also a natural (and experienced!) actor, so he was slipping in and out of character as we took pictures.
Daniel couldn’t contain his excitement as his guests began to arrive. Finally! His big party was here!
And boy, were the guests in for a treat. All of the hands-on exhibits were open for them to enjoy.
But first, Daniel addressed the crowd, thanking them for spending the evening with him.
His parents gave a speech in honor of their son…
…and then everyone got ready to party! The band came on to the stage and the crowd went wild… see for yourself in these pictures from Daniel’s celebration!:
Daniel’s dad wasn’t shy about joining in on the fun.
His mom tried her best to keep up with all the excitement, too!
David’s little brother was having an amazing time. I bet he can’t wait for his Bar Mitzvah!
Daniel and his sister, doing what brothers and sisters do.
Then it was time for the hora! His mom was up first.
Finally, it was Daniel’s turn. Look at that smile! He was having the time of his life!
Congratulations, Daniel! What a party…thank you for including me!