Thursday, August 6, 2009

Jewish Economics circa 1970

There has been much discussion, particularly in these difficult economic times, as to the manner in which Orthodox Jews choose to spend their money, and the unique challenges that they face.
(This would be a good point to once again plug Ezzie's Jewish Economic Survey and to encourage everybody to help him out in this endeavor...)

To put a lighter spin on things, I thought it might be amusing to take a peek back into the past, thanks to my father in law's meticulous record keeping, and see what a "typical" bar mitzvah might have cost almost 40 years ago. (I am not including the whole list here, rather only a few items {some from the Shabbos reception and some from the Bar Mitzvah dinner} for interest's sake)

Tefillin - $ 85.00

Tallis and tefillin bags $ 9.00

100 lbs. of cookies $150.00 (I'm not sure what shocks me more - the fact that there were enough guests for the reception after Shul on shabbos morning to warrant ONE HUNDRED POUNDS of cookies or the fact that they cost $1.50 a pound!!!!)

30 Bottles of Wine $ 50.00

Bar Mitzvah Dinner $13.00/pp

Cigars & Cigarrettes $ 40.00 (Finally! Something we are spending less on!)

Flowers $ 35.00

I'd be interested to hear from readers who recently made simchas how their search for $1.66 bottles of wine went ;)


Ezzie said...

Especially considering I'm speaking this Shabbos at the YI of KGH at 5pm on the subject! :P

Okay, that's just really good timing. ;)


(And fascinating.)

Leora said...

For my brother's bar-mitzvah in the early 1970s my mother xeroxed benchers and tied them up with a pretty bow to be economical.

Benchers are one of the cheapest parts of our upcoming simcha. Sigh.

RivkA with a capital A said...

No wine.

No benchers.

It was still very nice.


(the caterer provided small, inexpensive, benchers. we used those)