Accession consists of photographs from Faye Block's bat mitvah. Individuals identified in photographs include the bat mitzvah girl Faye Miriam Block with her parents Eric and Jodi and siblings, Sophie and Abe. Grandparents from coast to coast joining via zoom include Lois and Marven Block from Halifax, Nova Scotia and Pia and Mel Guralnick from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Like so many others in our community, we celebrated a bat mitzvah on Zoom this year. Our parents and siblings live from coast to coast and in between, and we have a large network of extended family scattered around the world -- a surprising number of whom are known to travel and show up for any simcha in the clan! As such, our kids had always looked forward to their milestone as a time to bring together all of the family for a reunion and celebration. Obviously, this was not in the cards this year.
Faye, our bat mitzvah, read from the Torah on shabbat at the First Narayever Congregation (currently at Leo Baeck), with just a minyan or so present, together with Rabbi Ed Elkin and Narayever's Family and Youth Coordinator, Sabrina Friedman, who taught Faye Torah trope and helped prepare her to layn. We were so happy to have her Toronto first cousins and some dear friends with us at shul. The weather was unusually warm, and were able to have a spontaneous kiddush lunch/celebration (distanced) in our backyard with Eric's sister's family -- replete with bagels, lox, blintzes and a lot of laughs.
On Sunday, we had a “zoom mitzvah” from our living room, to celebrate with our parents, siblings, extended family and loved ones -- hailing from as far as Israel and India. It was awkward, but important and rewarding. Our parents, who ached to be with us, each blessed Faye from their homes on either side of the country. Loved ones sent flowers, donations, and beautiful messages that Faye will revisit and cherish throughout her life.
In our big clan, Faye was one of four cousins (in just one family!) who had a COVID-era bar/bat mitzvah. While we have missed our family terribly and it was difficult to conceive of a simcha in relative isolation, we are grateful for many ways in which we are blessed –and Faye’s bat mitzvah was ultimately a meaningful and moving milestone for us all.
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