Boys Who Missed Their Bar Mitzvah Finally Got to Celebrate

A special celebration was held at the Tzeirei Hashluchim Winter Camp, where young shluchim whose Bar Mitzvah celebrations were limited due to COVID-19 finally got to celebrate properly with friends.

Photos: Mendel Geisinsky

This year, events and celebrations of all kinds were scaled down due to Covid. Some were able to be rescheduled, some took place online, while others still may have taken place in another format.

For Young Shluchim living in a city with not many Lubavitch friends (if any), their Bar Mitzvah is an event they look forward to, envision and prepare for for a long time.

A large representation from their community attends, and often family and extended family from out of town.

Due to Covid-19, these Young Shluchim’s Bar Mitzvah celebrations were scaled down to a drive-by, zoom, and perhaps a small crown of immediate family.

For these boys, this isn’t merely another canceled event. It’s a life milestone that was impacted, and a hard one to recreate.

As a beautiful response, Machane Berel Tzeirei Hashluchim Winter Camp which is taking place now in Lake Worth, Florida held an incredible Bar Mitzvah event honoring all the Bar Mitzvah boys in camp whose celebrations were limited in the past 10 months, giving them the party they so deserve.

The Bar Mitzvah boys honored were Shaya Bukiet, Levik Cadaner, Shmulie Goldman, Tzvi Gray, Mordechai Greisman, Zalman Hecht, Kovi Hershcovich, Meir Itkin, YankeleJacobson, Mendel Johnson, Shneur Zalman Kalmanson, Tzvi Kogan, Yossel Korf, Laibel Laufer, Berel Levertov, Schneur Zalman Liberow, Kehos Litvin, Yehuda Kalman Marlow, Levi Schmerling, Shmuli Wilansky, Nissi Yarmush, and Mendel Winner.

The event was held at Chabad of Weston’s upscale hall where the Young Shluchim were greeted with a fully set up room complete with stunning decor, live music and a gourmet meal.

The celebration began with the Rebbe’s Kapitel recited by Bar Mitzvah bochur, Levik Cadaner from Bettendorf, IA, and the letter of the Rebbe to Bar Mitzvah Bochurim, read by counselor, Levi Shemtov.The boys watched a special video of the Rebbe related to Bar Mitzvahs and heard inspiring words from director, Rabbi Berel Bendet and Bar Mitzvah bochur, Levi Schmerling from Venice, FL.

After special video presentation followed, with pictures of the original Bar Mitzvah’s of each boy coming on screen along with their parents wishing them Mazel Tov.As the music revved up and the Young Shluchim took to the dance floor, they were surprised by guest singer, Eli Marcus. The boys danced and sang the night away in the beautiful environment, finally getting to celebrate with all their friends.

Each boy came back to camp inspired and uplifted with a special memento to remember the evening, their very own special edition Siddur with the camp logo.

“When we realized how much these boys missed, we knew we had to do something for them,” shared Berel Bendet who directs the camp. “Seeing the beaming faces of the 22 Bar Mitzvah boys made all the time, effort and cost put into it worthwhile a hundredfold. A special thank the numerous sponsors and the camp staff who made it all possible.”

The event was sponsored Leilui Nishmas Shmuel ben Osher Karnowsky.

Check out the full photo gallery of the boys camp at youngshluchim.org/boyscamp.

For more information visit YoungShluchim.org or email shluchimcamp@shluchim.org.

Machane Berel Tzeirei Hashluchim Winter Camp is a project of the Shluchim Office.

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