NEW YORK - In a stunning break with tradition, the parents of Jason Pelsky held his Bar Mitzvah at the Times Square McDonald's this past Saturday.
"My husband just lost his job as a sales manager with Verizon," explained Adele Pelsky, Jason's mother. "Besides, I think the kids like this better," she continued. "We had the whole second level reserved. The restaurant manager was really good about this. I don't think he or anyone else on the staff ever thought they would see this."
Rabbi Goldberg of Temple New Israel said, "McDonald's really isn't kosher, but with Jason's father's financial situation taken into consideration, I told him under the circumstances, close enough. I just asked Jason's parents not to order cheeseburgers. That's going a little too far."
When the guests and the band started playing Hava Nagila, and everyone started dancing the hora, the staff joined in, and restaurant customers from the lower level went upstairs and also joined in the dance. After Hava Nagila ended, the band broke into klezmer tunes.
Cheyenne Scales, from Jamaica in the West Indies, a regular fixture at the Times Square branch, went upstairs when the music started. "These Jewish guys really know how to throw a party," she said. "I hope there's another Bar Mitzvah next week." Then Ms. Scales asked, "Are there any single guys here?" After listening to several klezmer songs, she said, "That's the wildest jazz I ever heard."
Rachel Ross, 15, said she liked this one better than the last Bar Mitzvah she went to. "It's a lot easier to get seconds than at the one for Mindy Lutz. All those waiters were snooty. This is really neat. And it's in the city, not out on, like, Long Island."
Stefan Schultz, 12, said "I've already asked my parents to have my Bar Mitzvah here next year. Those banquet halls are too much, and the ice sculptures are corny. One of my friends had a sculpture of himself made of chopped liver. He hated it."
Jason Pelsky, who was the center of attention for the day, summed it up by saying, "I hope David Letterman mentions this in his opening monologue."