What’s a bar/bat mitzvah facebook group leader in South Florida, a mitzvah vendor marketer in New York and a mitzvah project specialist in Philadelphia have in common? They are the mitzvah trio powerhouse blanketing the east coast.
Bar and bat mitzvah resources are exploding all over the country. There are websites with date registries so that friends don’t have bar/bat mitzvah conflicts, online e-vite-esque invitation websites so you may track your rsvp’s through an web-based service and crowdfunding pages specifically targeted for bar/bat mitzvah projects.
Many of these options have just recently launched, however there are 3 online mitzvah leaders who have built an impressive following by parents in-the-know.
In 2008, Sheri Lapidus had been a public relations executive in television and publishing and was planning her daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. She felt her friends who had been through the process had great advice that should be captured on the Web, so she launched www.MitzvahMarket.com from her kitchen. Very quickly, Moms signed up for her free e-newsletter and vendors wanted to know how to reach this niche audience they desired. Three years later the Website was acquired by Davler Media Group, a NYC publishing company. Since that time, they have grown into the Mitzvah Market division offering Bar Bat Mitzvah experts three ways to reach their readers: MitzvahMarket.com, Mitzvah Market Magazine and 6 Celebrate! Party Showcases. Last year, they also developed one-of-a-kind software, www.MitzvahOrganizer.com giving families a way to Simplify Their Simcha in one place online. Mitzvah Market gives readers the latest news on what’s happening on the Bar Bat Mitzvah scene and the information they need to make their child’s celebration different from the rest.
Entering the mix in 2010 was Cheryl Friedenberg, a stay-at-home mompreneur and active community volunteer with extra time on her hands. She joined up with a friend to found www.themitzvahbowl.com, a website providing bar/bat mitzvah students help finding meaningful mitzvah or community service projects nationwide. When Friedenberg discovered bar/bat mitzvah students who worked on mitzvah projects matching their interests typically got more out of their experience, she categorized her website to match a student’s passion with their project. Launching a nationwide search option this past summer, themitzvahbowl.com has extended its reach far beyond the Philadelphia region.
Mitzvah vendors advertise on her site, however there are no fees for neither non-profits to get listed on the site nor users searching the site for mitzvah project ideas. By contacting Friedeberg directly for mitzvah project search help (email firstname.lastname@example.org), bar/bat mitzvah students and parents get a resourceful mitzvah project consultant with a knack for finding the perfect project.
David is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in the field of addictions for over 20 years and Danielle is a Social Worker and the Dean of Students at a private Jewish Day School. Danielle’s passion for making people treats lead her to preparing “specialty and custom” chocolate and edible B’mitzvah favors for “Favor It Things.” David and Danielle have become known in the B’mitzvah community of South Florida, as they host the Facebook group, “South Florida Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah Planning Group.”
What started out in 2012 as a few “Bar Mitzvah Parents” on a Facebook page sharing ideas has exploded into a group where thousands of members, both parents and mitzvah vendors hear opinions, answer others’ questions and share their experiences planning a b’mitzvah.
David and Danielle Ockman love South Florida and reside in Deerfield Beach with their 13 year old son Blake, and 9 year old daughter, Skylar. It was an idea sparked by the fact that as parents planning a Bar Mitzvah (Blake’s was October 2014), there wasn’t a great local forum for finding recommended vendors. Within the year, the group grew exponentially with families joining the Facebook group. Currently, there are close to 4000 members! The families have found a place for sharing religious, spiritual and momentous occasions. The camaraderie and kinship has led to a sense of community and support, and to plan the best celebrations. Since starting the FB page, David has been called “Dr. Mitzvah” and the couple continue to talk many B’mitzah parents down off the ledge!
At the request of many families, a companion website and Vendor Directory was recently launched serving South Florida. It is a huge success and can be found at www.mitzvahgroup.com.
All three businesses help one another with publicity and social media posts as they all share content and collaborate on various blogs or projects with one another. For example, in fall, 2014, Lapidus and Friedenberg created a Mitzvah Project Resource Guide distributed to families in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas. Ockman has posted B’Mitzvah Therapy blogs (as he is a licensed Psychologist) on the mitzvahmarket.com site. These partnerships have spread the word about their mitzvah websites and Ockman’s facebook page to thousands more mitzvah parents throughout the East Coast and beyond.
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