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Frances Yalonetsky: Bat Mitzvah Memoir October 1978

My daughter Tanya Yalonetsky request that her Bat Mitzvah be held at her Zaidy's synagogue. It became a challenging request.

It was 1978, the stove in the kitchen had not been turned on for many years. I hired a caterer who had been a cook in the army. I had experienced his many talents where he had to serve food successfully in unusual circumstances.

I told him that a cold food buffet would be fine. His response was that we had to have some hot dishes. We could not use the basement as the floor was dirt with some linoleum over top. He could not stand the condition of the bathrooms.

He painted the bathrooms and entrance walls, went to the Salvation Army for drapes which he hung so our guests couldn't see the basement floor. He had his wife stand at a pay phone at the restaurant next door and instructed her to call the fire department if she heard a loud bang. He was going to light the oven in the kitchen. He started the oven and we had hot food.

It was a great Bat Mitzvah -- not to mention it was the very first Bat Mitzvah at the Beach Synagogue.

Tanya Yalonetsky is the granddaughter of Sara and Leo Schachter.