IMPACTING MY WORLD: The Bar Mitzvah Bandit


The Bar Mitzvah party was going fine until it was discovered that someone had pilfered the gift box.

As is custom in Israel, during weekday Bar Mitzvah celebrations a gift box is made available in which guests can deposit envelopes containing cash or checks. Imagine the shock when it was discovered that the gift box was missing. So the question as to whether the box was misplaced or misappropriated begged an answer.

Word of the theft sent family and friends on a mission to find the missing box. But the search proved unsuccessful. Fortunately, those guests who had given checks were able to stop them for a nominal fee. Less fortunate were those who had stuffed cash into an envelope. I guess the cash givers took some consolation the lesson learned from their mistake.

As a last resort, the police were notified and an investigation was initiated. During the course of that investigation it was discovered that the band, which had been hired for the occasion, took a video of their performance which they intended to use for the promotion of future engagements. The video was of good quality and the theft was in clear view. It would be expected that the culprit would be apprehended post haste and brought in to the police station for questioning. That did not happen – remember this was Israel where things work a bit differently.

As it turned out, the thief was one of the waiters at the Bar Mitzvah party. When the catering hall manager found out that one of his waiters was about to be arrested for stealing the box of gifts he implored the police to postpone the arrest until later that evening because he needed that waiter to work an affair that night. The police complied.

Finally, as the tables were cleared and the sounds of clattering plates subsided, the police moved in and arrested the “serve and steal”, waiter. They cuffed him and promptly hauled him away to the police station for questioning. During the interrogation the alleged video bandit was not told that his felony had been recorded, in the hopes that he might implicate accomplices, if there were any at all.

As it turned out, the waiter claimed that he did not steal the box of gifts but merely removed it from the table as he was cleaning up after the affair. After an exhaustive investigation the beleaguered waiter was believed, not charged, and released.

Resigned to the fact that the Bar Mitzvah bandit would never be discovered nor the missing money recovered, the parents of the Bar Mitzvah called all of the guests to find out if they had deposited either cash or check in the box. If it was determined that a guest had given a cash or check gift, the hosts sheepishly asked how much they gave

Once the total of cash and checks were totaled the hosts turned around and sued the caterer for the amount missing, claiming he neglected to provide for the appropriate gift box security. Whereupon the caterer counter-sued the family for defamation of character and the waiter sued the police for false arrest.



  1. Steve: Happens not only in Israel but stateside. I know those who had lock and key on box,and whole box taken like here. I guess if one really wants to feel more secure,hire someone to guard the box”’ or hire a trained vicious dog. Shame, shame on the culprit.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.