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Tips of how to make a bar mitzvah save-the-date video

Think outside the box: Become a YouTube star

Community Newspaper Group

Bar and bat mitzvahs are evolving. Kids receive iPads instead of fountain pens, Skype is used for last-minute study sessions, green screens and chocolate fountains are commonplace, and cell phones have been incorporated into reception entertainment. And as things change, new trends come into play. Some of these fads, like a DJ spinning PSY’s “Gangnam Style,” are fleeting, while others like creative cakes and candle lighting ceremonies are here to stay.

The latest craze a la bar mitzvahs seems to be the video save-the-date. These music video parodies are usually rapped by the bar mitzvah, are riddled with Jewish puns, and are intended to entertain guests before the simcha even starts.

YouTube viral hits like Joel’s Queen mash-up (video below, top) and Daniel’s “Welcome to Atlanta” Semitic spoof (video below, bottom) are two of the most popular and the secret ingredients for both seem to be family, high-production value, and clever lyrics.

Does your little rock (or Roth) star want to create some pre-party buzz with a video save-the-date? Here’s a few ways you can help him pull it off, without blowing your entire party budget:

Fine-tune your song selection

The only way you can truly pull this stunt off is by choosing the perfect song. It should be a song that your kid relates to, likes, and that most of your guests will recognize. Billboard’s “Hot 100” is a great resource for contemporary songs, Rolling Stones has a boldly titled “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list, and Wikipedia has a handy “List of songs considered the best” divided nearly by genre and decade. Get together with your kid, family, and a group of your kid’s friends, and decide collectively which song you think has the best comedic opportunities (i.e. find songs with lots of yous, blues, and trues in them — they rhyme with “jew.” Extra bonus points if you can find one where you can rhyme the word bar mitzvah (we had a hard time with that one ourselves!).

Get your Mel Brooks on

This is the trickiest part, but if you can pump a song full of Yiddish and Hebrew words and references, you’re as golden as the inside of fresh, baked challah. And speaking of the delicious, traditional loaf, it rhymes with “holla!” which is present in songs like “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani, “Holla Holla,” by Akon, and “Get Your Freak On,” by Missy Elliot.

Other examples are “kosher” rhyming with “closer” and “over” and “oy” rhymes with “boy” and “toy.” For more help, we found a free, online Yiddish rhyming dictionary! You can also ask your local bar mitzvah DJ or hit up a company like Custom Poetry Company that writes lyrics for any occasion.

On location

On a budget? If you take a look at Joel’s video (video below, top), much of it was done in his own home. Other great places to shoot your video are at your temple, your child’s school, or popular places where your kid and his friends hang out. You can also take note from Daniel’s video (video below, bottom) and shoot by famous landmarks in your city, amping up guests who are coming from out-of-town for the occasion. If you’re worried about production value, ask around — with the popularity of YouTube videos, some of your guests are bound to have some kind of production or editing skills you can utilize in lieu of a bar mitzvah gift. Or, if you don’t mind spending a little dough, you can always contact a videographer.

Give them their 15 minutes (or seconds)

If you want to hand out honors to certain guests but just don’t seem to have enough, try including them in the video, or giving them a shout-out. It will also make the process a lot more fun if you include your rabbi, cantor, Hebrew tutor, uncle, neighbors, friends, or your neighbor’s, uncle’s, rabbi. The most important part is to be creative, utilize your resources, and have a ton of fun. Challah!

Have you made a save-the-date video you would like us to feature on the site? Do you have any other suggestions? If so, e-mail us at ewanshel@cnglocal.com

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group