It will be a week later than intended. But Hadley Wood Jewish Community barmitzvah boy Thomas Hunt will have his ceremony in shul on Shabbat.
Although places of worship can hold services from July 4, the United Synagogue advised against reopening shuls on a Shabbat, allowing for a gradual build-up from weekday services. An exception was made for barmitzvahs and Hadley Wood is one of the few communities to take advantage.
The barmitzvah boy told the JC he was “really excited” to be able to read his parashah with family and friends looking on.
“Rabbi Yoni [Birnbaum] encouraged me to keep up my learning throughout lockdown because we weren’t sure what might be possible.
“I’m so glad that he did and feel so lucky to be able to have my barmitzvah in shul because there are so many boys around the world who have not been able to.”
His mother Sara anticipated a particularly emotional day, given “the shul is reopening. It will be a highly charged occasion.”