This year has ushered in a new lifecycle ceremony for the Jewish people – the “Zoom Mitzvah.” And, tomorrow, Beth Chai is having its first! Naomi Goldstein, daughter of Ed and Rebecca Goldstein, will become a Bat Mitzvah this Saturday morning at 10:30 am via Zoom.
Planning a Zoom Mitzvah has had both its challenges, and its rewards. Like with anything new, there is a certain trepidation and also a sense of loss about what is being missed – particularly family and friends coming physically together for the ceremony and celebration. Yet, planning a Zoom Mitzvah has also opened up a host of creative ways to reconsider the ceremony. And, being virtual, has allowed us in incorporate elements in new and exciting ways. I am not going to tell you more – you will need to “Zoom in” tomorrow to see a Zoom Mitzvah in action!
One important part of a Beth Chai B’nai Mitzvah ceremony has always been that it’s a community event. We are welcoming a young person into the Beth Chai community as an adult through their ceremony and we always encourage community members to come out, participate and be part of the family’s simcha (happy event). I encourage everybody at Beth Chai to consider Naomi’s Bat Mitzvah to be such a community event. She is an exceptional young person and I really hope that the community will join me in celebrating with her.
Naomi might be our trailblazer, but we have two more Zoom Mitzvah ceremonies coming up – Abe Freeman on October 30 and Luke Slee on November 28. Although physically separate, we can come together virtually as a community to celebrate their accomplishments and learn from them through their B’nai Mitzvah projects.