Another life event full of smiles at KLS ……

We celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of Zak, surrounded by his family and community

On the morning of Saturday 10 July, we held a very special Shabbat service in which we celebrated the Bar Mitzvah of our member Zak Scheib. Zak is from a longstanding KLS family – his parents and grandparents are members and his father also had his Bar Mitzvah with us in 1983.

Zak was joined in the Synagogue by members of his family and community. Other members of his family watched the livestream from Israel and Switzerland with friends tuning in from all around the UK and Australia. His family in Israel also contributed pre-recorded videos of readings which were played during the service; including the thought-provoking poem ‘The Lost Generation’ read by his cousin Lior:

Zak’s sister, Lily – who celebrated becoming Bat Mitzvah with KLS in 2018 – had written her own poem in honour of her younger brother – the first letter of each verse spelling out his name:

The theme of Zak’s D’var Torah was sacrifice and he reflected on the sacrifices that we have all made in the past year as a result of the Covid pandemic:

We all went into lockdown and we sacrificed our work, our travel, our education, our seeing our grandparents, seeing our friends, our freedom to go out anywhere to stop the spread of the corona virus to benefit those who were vulnerable.  As a result of lockdowns we also gained contact with family and friends and made time to be with them. We put effort in to when we did get see them and that felt special. We lost our freedom but we gained closeness and togetherness and found ways around being isolated

He also remarked on the relevance of the Torah for today:

“This was my first and main thought about sacrifice and just think no matter how old the Torah is we can still link the stories and instructions to our current lives”.

He concluded by reflecting on what being Jewish means to him:

“…for me being Jewish is about eating good food on special occasions with family on holy days. This brings us together as a family and closer. All Jews are celebrating the same day all over the world. So I am part of a bigger picture and a bigger family and I will always have special connection with other Jews because I am too!”

Zak’s family have been members of KLS since 1977 when they moved here from New York. Zak’s father, Jayson, became Bar Mitzvah at KLS in 1983. His mother, Rachel, converted to Judaism in 2005 and his sister Lily had her baby naming ceremony in 2007 and Bat Mitzvah in 2018.

Speaking after the service, Zak’s father Jayson said “So proud and so pleased to have been able to share the event with close family and KLS members in person and online. Rene gave the service such a warm and personal feel, another life event full of smiles marked at KLS!”

Zak said “It was lots of hard work and I’m pleased it’s all over. It was great to share it with everyone who came along as I thought at one point I’d be doing it alone online”.

You can watch the full service here: