Michael Douglas isn’t the only celebrity whose child got bar mitzvahed recently. Lisa Kudrow dropped by Conan this week to talk about her new movie Neighbors, and was surprised to find that host Conan O’Brien, a longtime friend, had a bone to pick with her. He wanted to know why he wasn’t invited to her son’s bar mitzvah.
He wasn’t invited, Kudrow explains, because no one was invited. The Jewish actress wasn’t even there when it happened. It was what she calls a “drive-by bar mitzvah.”
A drive-by bar mitzvah, it turns out, is both less and more frightening than it sounds. Her 15-year-old son was at the mall one day when he was approached by what Kudrow guesses were Chabad representatives, who asked if he was Jewish. He said half, they asked which half, he said his mother’s side, and they asked if he had been bar mitzvahed. He hadn’t. Did he want to? Sure.
Kudrow describes the exchange with a mix of amusement and incredulousness, explaining that the men put tefillin and a yarmulke on him, had him recite a prayer, then took a picture for him to show his mother.
While I’m not entirely certain this constitutes a bar mitzvah (Don’t you have to be called to the Torah? Aren’t there usually giveaways?), Kudrow seemed to be fine with the whole thing. The best part of the story, though, is that when Kudrow told her relatives about the impromptu rite of passage, they started sending her son checks. Back to the mall he goes.