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Planning for a bar mitzvah with many uncertainties has been both a challenge and a blessing. When I first began writing this we were less than 2 weeks away from Alex’s bar mitzvah date and didn’t know if his service would be from our home or the temple. We didn’t know if our parents could attend to be with their grandson in person to celebrate this milestone in our lives.*

One of the biggest challenges about planning anything during this time is this: we can’t plan anything during this time. This is often frustrating and even paralyzing. However, it is important that we remember why we chose to go ahead with Alex’s service on its intended day. First, Alex had been preparing for many months and he wanted to have his bar mitzvah on the date that we have had on our calendar for three years. Second, we were reminded that Jews have continued to become bar or bat mitzvah in times of struggle which has been a symbol of our shared history.

So we planned to move ahead with Alex’s bar mitzvah on June 6, whatever that may look like. His celebration, now planned for October, may happen and it may not. But it is our belief that he will look back on this moment in time and remember that he became a bar mitzvah because it was important, and because that is the tradition of the Jewish people.

*Update: Alex’s bar mitzvah was held in the sanctuary at TBE with 12 relatives present. The TBE clergy and staff worked tirelessly to see our vision become a reality. It was a very emotional journey but ultimately a beautiful service that we shared with family and friends via zoom. We will never forget it!

Read a message from TBE leadership about celebrating Alex’s bar mitzvah in our makom.