How one family celebrated their daughter’s bat mitzvah during coronavirus pandemic

Sophie Weingarten's Zoom bat mitzvah.
Photo credit Courtesy of Weingarten family
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Many who had big celebrations scheduled during the coronavirus pandemic are being forced to come up with more modest ways to celebrate their milestones, including one family who had to rethink how they would celebrate their daughter's bat mitzvah.

So the synagogue worked with the Weingarten family to let them borrow a Torah.

"There are a lot of rules that we were unaware of about having a Torah in your house. You can't eat in a room with a Torah, it can't be in a room where someone sleeps. I actually think I had more anxiety about having a Torah in the house than Sophie did about having her bat mitzvah,” she said. 

Since the synagogue didn't want to use technology over the Sabbath, Sophie had her Zoom bat mitzvah this past week, broadcast directly from her living room.

"We all, like, got dressed up like we would have normally,” the 13-year-old said. She was sad about it when she first heard having the bat mitzvah over Zoom, but she said it “turned out really good.” 

And since Sophie's friends couldn't be there in person, her mom solicited signs from her daughter's friends to make the day special.

"I started by texting some friends from Philly, some friends from swim team, some friends from camp,” she explained.