Jewish family throw 13-year-old dog a ‘bark mitzvah’ | TeamDogs
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Jewish family throw 13-year-old dog a ‘bark mitzvah’

The event gave the family a happy occasion to celebrate

Leila Marshall

Posted 31d ago

By Fiona Jackson 

Rambo, a 13-year-old Havanese, was thrown a ‘bark mitzvah’ by his Jewish family – complete with a dog-sized kippah and tallit, and even a ‘mazel tov’ cake. 

Ruth and Craig Ellenberg, 44 and 52, wanted to celebrate their dog’s coming-of-age in the same way Craig did exactly 39 years ago. 

The Ellenbergs extended the event over two days at their home in Livingston, New Jersey, USA, as so many family members wanted to attend. 

Ruth said: "We've joked about it with our five kids since Rambo is the only child we have together, we would have this party. 

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"Rambo loves attention and he loved this. His favourite part was licking the icing from the cake. At first he did not enjoy the kippah tied around his head or his tallit but he got used to both. 

"Celebrating Rambo and adding the Jewish heritage and traditions allowed all of us to step away from the stress of real life and just enjoy family. He’s always been a spoiled prince and now even more. He’s a very loved member of our family." 

Rambo wore a puppy-sized Kippah and Tallit (Image: Ruth Ellenberg/SWNS)

The pampered pup is very used to being the centre of attention, as he frequently joins in birthday parties and holiday celebrations with special outfits. 

The first day began at with a lunch where prayers were read over the candles and bread, or challah, with pint-sized Rambo seated at the table. 

They had a peanut butter cake made with dog-safe ingredients, decorated with a specially made 'Mazel Tov Rambo' sign which the little pup adored. 

There was a ceremonial candle-lighting ceremony and prayer recitals, all while little Rambo donned a dog-sized kippah and tallit. 

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Compliance officer Craig celebrated his own bar mitzvah in 1982, so they dug out old photos to reminisce over – and to show Rambo how it's done! 

The very same Torah that Craig received during his ceremony from his grandparents was read aloud to the dog for his haftorah, but he also received his own mini scroll as a gift. 

Rambo's parents sent out text invitations to their whole family, and their daughters Jenna, Carly, Lyanna and Arielle attended both in person and through FaceTime. 

Ruth's son Aidan was away at boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, but to ensure he didn't miss out either he was mailed physical photos of the newly-adult dog. 

Rambo enjoyed a peanut butter cake made with dog-safe ingredients (Image: Ruth Ellenberg/SWNS)

Ruth, who works for a financial company, said: "The kids are all away at college, work and Marines boot camp and we love sharing fun pictures and videos of their 'hairy brother'. 

"We were concerned some may be offended but it has been very positive reactions. They especially loved Rambo's personalised kippah. 

"It's important to bring the family together for happy occasions any way possible especially during this difficult time caused by COVID. Rambo is always full of love, loyalty, and brings smiles to us all. Life is stressful enough, we all needed a happy occasion to celebrate." 

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