You may not know Sam Horowitz’s name, but you’ve probably seen part of his 13th birthday party. The video, which went viral this summer on YouTube, featured the bar mitzvah boy greeting guests at the Omni Hotel in grand style.
“Sam and I have been talking about his bar mitzvah since he was old enough to talk,” said Todd Fiscus of Todd Events, who planned Tony Romo’s wedding to Candice Crawford in 2011. “He went to a Cheetah Girls concert when he was 7 years old, and he said that he wanted to come down to the party in a chandelier like he had seen at that concert. We started there, and I talked him into dancing after he came out of the chandelier.”
The eighth-grader at Parish Episcopal School has been acting since he was 3, but didn’t discover his love of dance until working with Power House choreographer Gino Johnson on the routine. When he’s not busy with school, he is chasing his dream of becoming an actor through starring in plays at the Jewish Community Center.
“People say their bar mitzvah and their wedding were the best days of their life, and mine definitely was because it was really special,” Sam said. “I hope [the video] inspired somebody to go for their dream, whether they wanted to sing or dance or whatever.”
While Sam may now be famous for his bar mitzvah dance routine — which he recreated for both Good Morning America and Ellen — there are other highlights from his ascent to manhood that have been less publicized.
It took him two years to prepare for his bar mitzvah ceremony at Congregation Shearith Israel, where he led a service for 600 people in Hebrew.
For his mitzvah project, Sam raised money for Ben Yakir Youth Village, a school in Israel for at-risk youth, most of whom are immigrants. In lieu of gifts, Sam raised more than $36,000 to send the young men to summer camp and further their therapy.
“Sam is such a passionate kid at a young age, and he understands how fortunate he is and wants to make an impact on the lives of others,” his mother, Angela Horowitz, said. “I know the party and excitement have been awesome, but there are some very sentimental and meaningful parts to what he achieved.”