Brighton’s first online barmitzvah was an international affair with hundreds watching the ceremony of Mendel Lewis, son of Chabad rabbinic couple Zalman and Shterna Lewis.
As well as the traditional contributions of the celebrant, Mendel took an active organising role, building a website and managing the live-sharing.
Before the lockdown, the family had expected to welcome around 80 guests at a physical ceremony.
Instead, the home-based service attracted a global audience of 400 via YouTube, Zoom and Facebook.
“It was an amazing and inspiring opportunity to share our simchah with so many more people than would have otherwise been possible,” said Rabbi Lewis.
Being able to bring joy to people in self-isolation was “uplifting”.
Mendel said it had been a rewarding experience. “I’m quite techie so it was fun to build my barmitzvah website. It enabled me to share my simchah with so many people while doing something I enjoy.”