Monday, October 9, 2017

Bark Mitzvah of Thatcher Norman Shoval

We are less than a week away from Thatcher Norman’s Bark Mitzvah. Jenn, Thatcher, and I are so excited that you will be joining us!

As a reminder, the details are:

Saturday, October 14th
Belltown Community Center
415 Bell Street

Please try to be on time. If you are late and arrive after 6:50, please stay in the waiting area until the Bark Mitzvah ceremony is complete.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions that fall into four categories:

(1) What kind of gift should I get for Thatcher in honor of his big day?

(2) Can I bring anything?

(3) What should I expect at my first Bark Mitzvah?

(4) What is the appropriate attire?

The answers are:

(1) Thatcher has asked that guests give a donation to the Seattle Humane Society (;jsessionid=00000000.app317b?pagename=donate_form) in lieu of gifts. The money will go to help other pooches find their own happy families.

(2) Besides yourself, your kids (if you have them), and your dog(s) (if s/he is in the mood to come), we welcome you to bring desserts. appetizers, salads, chips, dips, cookies, soda, juice, beer, wine, liquor, etc. No need to worry about complying with all my strange food constraints, but — please, please, please — do not bring any food made of animals of any kind! This is a vegetarian event.

(3) A “bark mitzvah” is a bit of a gag that Jenn and I saw on a TV show called Royal Pains a few years ago. It plays off the Jewish tradition common among both secular and religious Jews of a day in honor of a boy when he is 13 years old. (Apparently at some point in history that was the age when one became a man.) To keep the spirit, we have an awesome “rabbi” named Matthew Love (really!) who will perform a short ceremony of sorts. Then he will magically transform into the DJ and all-around entertainment for the evening. We’ll have dancing, music, and general merriment.

(4) The attire is smart casual. For men this means pants (not jeans) and ideally a button-up shirt and sport coat. This being Seattle, we won’t be too picky. But the event will forever be commemorated in pictures (thanks to photographer and cellist extraordinaire Erika Pierson!), so dress like you want to be remembered. As for the ladies, dresses and dancing shoes are ideal; we won’t be offended if you change your footwear when the music starts playing. Kids, of course, can wear whatever they find comfortable. We will supply yarmulkes (the traditional Jewish men’s head covering) for the dogs. If you happen to have a yamulke of your own or any Jewish-y attire (tallis, tzitzit, etc.), wear it!