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B'nai mitzvah at the Southern Wall during Birkat Kohanim

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B'nai mitzvah at the Southern Wall during Birkat Kohanim

I am planning a B'nai mitzvah on April 17, 2014, which turns out to be one of three days during the year when THOUSANDS of people go to the Western Wall for the priestly blessing. I would like to know if anyone can tell me if Robinson's Arch or the Southern Wall will be extremely crowded at 8 am on that day. I have no idea what to expect, except that parking may be difficult. We have a driver, so we don't really have to worry about parking.

Also, I would like to have a musical procession from the wall to a nearby restaurant. We are only 6 people, and I'm looking for a nice restaurant with vegetarian options that will be open during Pesach. I would appreciate suggestions for both the restaurant and musicians.

Thanks!!

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41. Re: B'nai mitzvah at the Southern Wall during Birkat Kohanim

The B'nai Mitzvah was amazing! Our driver dropped us off at Jaffa Gate and we walked to the Kotel as there was absolutely no driving within the city walls, and even driving up to the Dung Gate was not possible. We were the first group of the day and had the park to ourselves. We had our choice of locations, and we set our table up right at the foot of the Herodian stones. There were no restrictions and we were not required to use the deck. It was Birkat Hakohanim, and we could hear the bull horn off in the distance, but it was faint, and the park was extremely peaceful. It was shady that time of the morning, and a bit chilly. One other group arrived when we were 2/3 through our service. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day!

After the ceremony, the musicians met us inside the park, and we did a short procession just outside the park and circled back into the park. It was short, but we did it! Our plan was to have brunch back at the hotel, but we were running late, so we just had a lite lunch.

Thanks to everyone for your help with the planning. I am truly appreciative.

Israel
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42. Re: B'nai mitzvah at the Southern Wall during Birkat Kohanim

Glad it all worked out for you and you had a memorable experience.

Chana

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43. Re: B'nai mitzvah at the Southern Wall during Birkat Kohanim

Great to hear it all went well. It will certainly be a day your family will always remember!

We were in the Old City that day also... but in the afternoon. :)

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44. Re: B'nai mitzvah at the Southern Wall during Birkat Kohanim

I'm very glad to hear that it worked out including the musicians.

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45. Re: B'nai mitzvah at the Southern Wall during Birkat Kohanim

Hello,

Whom did you end up using for the procession? Was it the Jamaican Drums? If so, do you happen to still have contact info? Were they easy to deal with from the US? Reliable? Thanks!!!

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46. Re: B'nai mitzvah at the Southern Wall during Birkat Kohanim

We did use Jamaican Drums. It was tricky to contact them at first, as their web site is in Hebrew, which I don't speak. http://www.jamaica-drums.co.il/. I had a friend email them and I received an email in broken but more than adequate English from Eli. (Better than my Hebrew!) He was very accommodating. Communication before the event was great. I had him do the drumming, and he also had a clarinet player, who was great. They were reliable, honest, and flexible. It was very crowded, so we had to limit our procession, but they made it work. I would definitely recommend them.

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47. Re: B'nai mitzvah at the Southern Wall during Birkat Kohanim

Another recommendation I feel I must mention is our photographer, Lauren Newman. http://newmanphotography.co.il/about/. Not only is her photography AMAZING, but she's a lovely person. I can't say enough about how great she is. I had 20 of her photos blown up and hung around the room for our party at home. It gave our guests a sense of what it was like to be at the ceremony. Everyone at the party raved about the pictures. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

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48. Re: B'nai mitzvah at the Southern Wall during Birkat Kohanim

Thanks so much Racquel. Very helpful information. Will look into the drummers you used then.........This may be an odd question, but as our son is being bar mitzva'd at the Kotel, would it be more advantageous to have a male photographer who could be on "the men's side"?? Or does it make a difference based on camera angles? I have no clue but will definitely look into the recommendations provided. Thanks so much! I wish you would have had a luncheon afterall, that would have solved all my open issues as well!! Thanks again!!

Israel
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49. Re: B'nai mitzvah at the Southern Wall during Birkat Kohanim

Yes hire a male photographer.

Chana

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50. Re: B'nai mitzvah at the Southern Wall during Birkat Kohanim

We did our ceremony at Robinson's Arch. Since this area is egalitarian, it was fine to have a female photographer. In your case, it probably would be better to have a male photographer.