Jeremy Kalishman became a bar mitzvah during a virtual ceremony on Zoom (a “Zoom Mitzvah”) on May 9.
More than 200 people in 109 households watched Jeremy on Zoom as Rabbi Jim Bennett and Cantor Seth Warner of Congregation Shaare Emeth led the service from their respective homes.
Jeremy, who will be an eighth grader at MICDS in the fall, is the son of Jim and Amy Kalishman. His grandparents are Nancy Kalishman of St. Louis, and Glenn and Ellyn Salkind of Sarasota, Fla. His great-grandmother is Elaine Brown of Chicago. Jeremy has two siblings, Amanda, 19, and Ally, 17.
“[T]he service was beautiful, touching, warm, loving and amazing despite the fact that we were not all physically together with family and friends,” Amy Kalishman noted. “It was an incredible experience orchestrated by the Shaare Emeth clergy that we will remember forever both for the impactful service and the circumstances. We want people to know that they can still enjoy a memorable and special ceremony in these challenging times.”
For his mitzvah project, Jeremy volunteered at the Harvey Kornblum Food Pantry from November 2019 to March 2020 (he would have continued, but stopped due to the pandemic). At the food pantry, Jeremy’s main responsibility was repackaging the produce. He usually went during holidays and days off from school for two hours each time, about five to six times. Jeremy also gave half of the monetary gifts he received to the food pantry and some of his guests donated as well.
Amy Kalishman said guests told her that having the happy occasion to celebrate “made a huge difference in their lives during this difficult time. It brought smiles and joy to so many.”