Seventy years ago, Rabbi Aaron Krauss, of the conservative Beth El Synagogue in Margate, had to postpone his bar mitzvah by three weeks. He had come down with chicken pox.
The 13-year-old had to learn a whole new set of biblical readings in Hebrew, appropriate to the week.
In those days, there was only a religious service and some refreshments afterward, he said.
"There were no big parties," he said of Bridgeport, Conn., where he grew up in the 1930s.
Now, at 83, he's about to have his second bar mitzvah July 20 to mark his 13th year of life past the biblical notion of "three score and ten" - or 70 years. There will be a religious service on Saturday and a tribute dinner on Sunday.
"It's really an opportunity for friends and family to get together," Krauss said - and for the congregation to show him their appreciation.
The bar mitzvah marks the time in a young man's life when he becomes responsible for his actions, and takes on obligations to his community and religion, Krauss said.
"Heaven only knows," what new obligations he will take on in the future, Krauss said.
Saturday is the Sabbath of Comfort, marking the time in the Book of Isaiah when new Persian King Cyrus the Great invited the Jews to return to Jerusalem in 539 BCE. So his readings will focus on Isaiah, he said.
The service starts 9 a.m. at 500 N. Jerome Ave. in Margate, but his portion will begin about 10:15 a.m. he said. All are welcome.
'Stars of Tomorrow' today
Roxanne Grant Vernouski, of Absecon, is organizing a two-hour show with 70 former "Tony Grant's Stars of Tomorrow" performers, and some children they teach in dance schools, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the first Steel Pier Alumni Reunion on the new Steel Pier on Saturday, she said.
In her 50s now, she is the granddaughter of Tony Grant Sr., who started the showcase for child performers from Steel Pier. Her father, Tony Grant Jr., was also an emcee.
Grant Vernouski performed as a child and had her own dance school in Wilkes Barre, Pa., for 10 years. She said show alumni keep in touch "almost every day" through a Facebook page.
The Jim Craine Show on WOND-AM 1400 will broadcast evening performances 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. by the Atlantic City All Star Band; Ed Hurst, host of the TV show "Summertime at the Pier"; and celebrity guests. Craine worked summers on the pier and invites anyone who worked there to attend the free event. Call him at 609-652-5322 or Sharon Franz at 609-513-1690 or Sharon@steelpier.com.
More stories to tell
Michelle Brunetti Post writes about the lives, careers and good deeds of South Jersey residents Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays in 'Everyone Has a Story.' To share your story, call 609-272-7219 or email MPost@pressofac.com