Murray, an adorable 13-year-old Labradoodle, celebrated his ‘bark’ mitzvah with 30 of his four-legged friends, and about 120 humans, on December 12 in what would surely have been the most unusual, and fun, function at Randwick Community Centre in years.
“My partner Karen [Alpert] and I wanted to do something special for Murray when he turned 13, so we decided to hold a bark mitzvah for him, and invited as many friends and family members as we could,” Gina Solomon explained.
“It was certainly a fabulous simcha, it made everyone smile at the end of another challenging year [due to COVID] and people just could not believe Murray’s spectacular entrance – it was jaw-dropping!”
Murray arrived in the centre’s large, grassy outdoor space in true style in a flashy white Tesla electric car.
When the car’s doors opened upwards rather than outwards, Murray hopped out onto a red carpet and gazed at the crowd, who were giving him a standing ovation.
Murray and his mates enjoyed drinking some chicken broth ‘puptinis’, a sumptuous cake beautifully decorated with a Star of David on top, and the main course menu included turkey meatballs, beef liver risotto, poached salmon and mini doh-mutts.
There was even a big banner that said ‘Muzzle Tov’, hora dancing – by the humans – and music by a band called Let’s Pawty!
“Murray looked great during the ceremony, wearing a kippah we ordered from a place in New York, and a doggy tallit especially made for the occasion by a friend of mine here in Sydney,” said Solomon.
“All the dogs got on very well in true bark mitzvah spirit. There was not a single dog fight and Murray absolutely loved it.”He is getting a little old now, but he is still pretty lively and social … he’s probably got more friends than I do!
“Murray is a beautiful dog that’s very special to us, and to others too.
“He has volunteered at the Montefiore campus in Randwick over the years, spending time with the residents, including befriending one particular lady who lived until she was 105 … he even attended her funeral, and stayed right next to the hearse – he seemed to know exactly what was happening.”
Murray received lots of doggy treats as presents, but Solomon said many guests chose to make a donation, in lieu of bringing a gift, to the Sydney Cats and Dogs Home, a not-for-profit pound.