From out-of-the-box themes to incredible locations to dynamic dessert bars, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs give professional planners (and parents!) an opportunity to highlight the unique personality of the guest of honor. We’ve researched and studied (and attended numerous Mitzvahs ourselves) to put together this list of Chicago’s top Mitzvah planners. Take a look—and prepare to be inspired.
The unstoppable duo of Lindsay Stein Cohen and Katie Goggin, as well as their remarkable team, make up Designer Event Chicago, a full-service, boutique firm that is known for making bar or bat mitzvah event dreams come true. Favorite Mitzvah themes have included Lollapooloza, Star Wars and Rock Climbing. Loving event spaces like Morgan Manufacturing in Chicago, or Ravinia Green Country Club in Riverwoods, Cohen and Goggin delight in creating events that are both unique and personal. Finding inspiration everywhere, the Designer Event Chicago team becomes virtual members of the family when planning their clients’ milestone events.
Joyce Pollakoff finds inspiration from the families she so intimately gets to know during the planning process of each bar and bat mitzvah she produces. Watching the parents guide their children as they grow in this coming-of-age tradition sparks Pollakoff to create celebrations to match. Some of her favorite Mitzvah theme include Swim Team, Claire’s World and Mason’s Mountain. Second generation in her family’s business, Pollakoff has been planning unforgettable events for more than 35 years. With offices in Northfield, Pollakoff loves to throw mitzvah events at Ravinia Festival or the Bridgeport Art Center. She finds a reason to celebrate with every occasion.
Debbie Tucker, a 20-year veteran event planner, makes sure that each carefully crafted mitzvah celebration she plans reflects the personality, objective and budget of each client. Collaborating with a wide variety of premier local vendors, Tucker understands the vision of each event, finding joy in the pride of a well-executed party. Favorite past Mitzvah themes include Art Gallery, The Stanley Cup and Coachella. Based in Northbrook, Tucker’s favorite local venues include the outdoor bocce space at Pinstripes and the country club feel of Ravinia Green Country Club. Her mission: build dreams and make lifelong memories.
Highland Park-based Elaine Klein Events delivers the most magical mitzvah celebration experience to each guest, while giving her clients exactly what their hearts’ desire. Past themes include Gymnastics, City Chic and Graffiti Artist. Described as “hands-on but easy going,” Klein delights with every new client, making each idea feel like anything is possible. Favorite mitzvah venues include Moonlight Studios’ blank canvas and Marcello’s casual atmosphere. Klein lives by the motto “don’t say ‘no’ just because its never been done before!”
Life of the Party owner Shari Rodin believes when making a great Bar or Bat Mitzvah event, the look and feel is incredibly important for the families personal style to be represented. Favorite past Mitzvah themes include Modern Chic, Masquerade and Candy. Planning events for years on the North Shore and throughout Chicagoland, Rodin takes pleasure in creating milestone events from the beautiful and breathtaking to the fun and funky. She recommends Mitzvah planning to begin early if the client has a particular venue or vendors in mind. Some of her favorite venues are Twin Orchard Country Club, Park West and The “W” Hotel on Adams in the city. Drawing her inspiration from her connection to her clients, Rodin feels there’s nothing better than putting together a happy celebration.
Marcy Glink knows that planning a mitzvah event can be overwhelming. Glink and her team find inspiration in listening carefully to their clients’ priorities, then exceeding their expectations. Having once turned an entire venue into a replica of the United Center, Glink knows a thing or two about making wishes a reality. Other past Mitzvah theme favorites include Music, Basketball and Art Deco. Twin Orchard Country Club and the W Hotel are some favorite spots of Great Events. Glink and her team recommending the planning process begin one to two years before the big day. Food, entertainment, floral, and design elements make Great Events a one-stop shop.
The mitzvah of a child is an important day to any parent and Tracie Simkin of Partie Girl Inc. wants to help make it completely free of stress. Simkin has been producing events around Chicagoland for years, leaving many satisfied clients. From coordinating with premiere vendors to day-of event management, her goals is to make sure her clients have the time of their lives during their own unique celebration. Some of her favorite Mitzvah themes include Modern, Colorful and Basketball.