We always hear about children preparing for their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs by including a mitzvah project. But what happens when the congregation and its leaders turn the tables and do the mitzvah for a child about to enter Jewish adulthood?
Today he is a man, but the week before his big day, Daniel Maman, a student at the Saligman Middle School of the Perelman Jewish Day School, and his entire family were worried: How could they go through with his Nov. 3 Bar Mitzvah in the midst of Hurricane Sandy?
Let Mom, Pamela Fine Maman, tell the story as a tribute to the Mitzvah Heroes who worked their magic across synagogue borders on Old York Road:
“After Sandy touched down in Elkins Park, our day school and synagogue — Congregation Adath Jeshurun, where our family has been members for over 40 years — lost power. Our plans had to be altered. Our chazzan, Howard Glantz, and his family graciously opened their home for the Thursday morning minyan so my son could be called to the Torah.”
But they still needed to make arrangements for the Shabbat services.
“Beth Sholom Congregation stepped up to the plate and offered us the use of their sanctuary and space for all of our events. Rabbi David Glanzberg-Krainin and Rabbi Andrea Merow reached out to welcome us. Our volunteer members of our congregation, led by Gerry Rudman, shlepped all of the food to Beth Sholom to cook and prepare so that everything would still run on track.
But then, “the power came back on and just as quickly everyone worked together to get everything back to A.J. before Shabbat. My son was able to have his Bar Mitzvah at A.J. like we planned, with our rabbi, Rabbi Seymour Rosenbloom.
“Rabbi Rosenbloom led a beautiful service reminding us of the fragility in the world around us and the effects of the hurricane all around our community and helping out all year long and not just in times in need. The service was unforgettable with my son poised on the bimah as a young man where I stood for my Bat Mitzvah.
“While everything ended up exactly as I hoped it would, I will forever be grateful for all of the efforts made by the entire Old York Road corridor to make this happen. We are honored to be part of such Jewish community.”
Know of someone in our community whose selfless acts make the world a better place? Submit your “Mitzvah Hero” nominee to firstname.lastname@example.org . Or submit it directly online at the jewishexponent.com/community, where you’ll find even more Mitzvah Heroes. Explain why your hero qualifies for the honor, in 200 words or less, and maybe you’ll see him or her saluted here or online.