For seven years we have been doing airbrush tattoos at events ranging from 1st birthday parties to large corporation events. One of our biggest client markets, surprisingly, is bar and bat mitzvahs around the San Francisco Bay Area.
In my own misunderstanding of Jewish culture, I had long thought that tattoos were forbidden because of the Holocaust. However, this article by Rabbi Gershom Barnard: Ask the Rabbi: Jews and Tattoos states:
“The origin of the traditional Jewish prohibition of tattooing is at Leviticus 19:28: “You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves; I am the Lord.” The described practices were presumably part of pagan religious practice, which the Torah vigorously opposed. The Talmudic discussion of the subject, found, for example, in the Babylonian Talmud Makkot 21a, defines the offense as involving both making some visible mark on the skin, with ink or whatever, and doing it in some way that the dye is introduced into the skin, not just on the surface” and goes on to say “Removable tattoos,” body art which involves merely painting or drawing on the skin without penetrating it, is technically not prohibited. However, since removable tattoos might look very much like permanent tattoos, it is perhaps not advisable to get those, either.”
In this collection of past party photos you can see we have 69 sets from bar & bat mitzvahs over the last few years. The guests getting tattoos range in age from 1 to 100 and as you can see, this is a safe, fun form of entertainment for everyone.