[Dixielandjazz] The gig that got away... (no musical content)

Ministry of Jazz jazzmin at actcom.net.il
Fri Dec 9 13:41:43 PST 2005

Shalom Jazz Fans,

Here's an article from today's Jerusalem Post about a $10 million bat
mitzvah party. I guess there are people around who can afford to hire a
band. Not sure whether I'd want a piece of this one or not. I feel sorry for
the girl, especially when I read the comments of one of her friends, who
asked that her name be withheld so she wouldn't be suspected of coming to
the party for the wrong reasons. Read on...

Dr. Jazz Dixieland Band
Tekiya Trumpet Ensemble
Jerusalem, Israel

My big, fat $10 million bat mitzva

It's already been dubbed mitzvahpalooza - the bat mitzva to top all bat

At a price tag estimated at just over $10 million, and a music lineup that
included the likes of Aerosmith, Tom Petty, and rapper 50 cent, Long Island
teen Elizabeth Brooks had a coming of age party on November 26 to fulfill
any Jewish princess's dream.

Her father, defense industry tycoon David Brooks, was rumored to have told
planners to "spare no cost" on a party so lavish it required two floors of
New York hot spot The Rainbow Room to host Elizabeth's 300 guests.

The 50-year-old Brooks was the highest-grossing executive in Long Island
last year, pulling in $72.6 million as chairman of defense contractor DHB
Industries. Planners said that Brooks insisted on overseeing every last
detail of the event, down to the concert-worthy stage equipment he had
hauled in for the show.

And what a show it was, said one attendee, who sampled hors d'oeuvres to the
strains of Kenny G's soprano sax before The Eagles' Don Henley and Joe
Walsh, rap diva Ciara, and Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks kicked off the
night's musical performances.

The main bill featured Tom Petty, Aerosmith and 50 cent, who apparently
worked the lyrics, "Go shorty, it's your bat mitzva, we gonna party, like
it's your bat mitzva" into his set.
"The party was so awesome," one 14-year-old guest told The Jerusalem Post.
"But the coolest were these goody bags we got." The guest asked that her
name not be used because she didn't want her friends to think that she had
only attended the party for the bags, which included video iPods and digital

"I mean, it was totally worth going for the music too," she said.

Brooks's bash was not the only costly party among wealthy Jewish teens. A
press release had to be distributed for Amber Ridinger's Miami bat mitzva in
November, which cost an estimated $500,000 and featured performances by rap
and hip-hop artists Ashanti, Ja Rule and Marques Houston.

While the price tags on the Ridinger and Brooks bat mitzvas have been touted
as the most lavish in recent years, others are pointing to them as symbolic
of a trend in spiraling bar and bat mitzva costs.

On the other side of the United States, in Los Angeles, Etti Rabb has spent
over a year preparing a bat mitzvah for her daughter, Natalie.

"A bottom-of-the-line party will cost you at least $20,000," said Rabb, who
teaches Judaic studies at a private Jewish school. "And that doesn't even
include the service, which costs another $6,000."

Rabb said she has found ways to cut the costs. By planning the event
herself, she saved the several thousand dollars that many spend on an event
planner, and she hired a small catering company that cost $5,000 less than
the caterers provided by the banquet hall. Last week, the Rabb family also
decided that they would create the centerpieces for the tables themselves,
saving the $200-dollar-a-table cost of renting them for a night.

"The theme is 'Around the world.' Each table has a centerpiece from a
different part of the world," said Rabb.

Natalie said that she has tried to help her mother find ways to keep the
costs down as well, but at the end of the day there will always be the
pressure to compete with other bat and bar mitzvas.

"Everyone talks about the parties afterwards, and sure, I think there is
pressure," said the teen.

Two years ago, the Rabb family traveled to Israel for the cost of their
older son Adam's bar mitzva.

"It is much much cheaper in Israel; the guests practically pay for
themselves," said Rabb. "It ends up costing us less, but for the guests who
travel to Israel to attend it costs much more."

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