Jon and Emily have 3 amazing chillins, Charlotte, Tommy, and the Bat Mitzvah girl Molly. The BM was at their house. That's what I call one stop shopping! Not only would there be no awkward transition from a Temple to a lunch to an I don't know what, but I wouldn't lose my golden parking spot.
Jews have been fleeing something forever, we were told, and they can create places to worship wherever and whenever they need. So the Montclair Jews (Jon and Emily) set up shop under a tent in the Alter's backyard. It seemed to this Jew like a reasonable place to throw on a yarmulke and go deep with a Haftorah.
Harry Smith and I surveyed the crowd pre-service. He's now CBS' elder statesman and, if you ask me, the man who should replace Katie Couric if they actually pull the trigger. (See today's New York Times biz section.) Looking around the group wistfully, Harry told me he wished he owned a piece of the blue blazer industry. I and everyone else had one on. Steven Colbert was there. (I think he had on a blue blazer too.)
At the beginning of the service the Lady Rabbi asked if anyone had never been to a BM and he raised his hand. It was funny. I believe this was unscripted. I love to sit back and listen to a Bat Mitzvah speech and Molly didn't disappoint. She intoned about her Torah portion and what Judaism means to her. She said Jews don't have to agree w/ everything God says and that everything is up for debate. I had never heard of the tradition of throwing candy at the Bat Mitzvee, but I went there.