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Connor's Bar Mitzvah

Connor's Bar Mitzvah

Connor's Bar Mitzvah
Connor's Bar Mitzvah

Middleton, a town in south-eastern County Cork, Ireland, is famous as the headquarters of the Jameson Whiskey Distillery.

It is also home to Julie, an American expat, who lives alone with her son Connor, 14. Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, Julie's family belonged to a Reform temple, but since her move to Ireland years ago, she has not participated in anything Jewish.

When we initially made contact with Julie, she told us that she had been wanting to give Connor a Bar Mitzvah for a while, but had never managed to do so. She asked if there was anything we could do. We offered to put on tefillin with him, say the blessings, and speak about the significance of a Bar Mitzvah. It would be a basic, no-frills, Bar Mitzvah ceremony.

Later that week, Julie and Connor, whose Hebrew name we learned was Chaim, arrived at our hotel for an intimate Bar Mitzvah celebration in the hotel lobby. While we wrapped Connor in Tefillin, Julie was taking photos and videos, beaming with Jewish motherly pride.

What's a Bar Mitzvah without presents? We gave Chaim/Connor an illustrated Scroll of Esther, and we gave Julie the book Think Jewish by Rabbi Zalman Posner.

It was not your typical Bar Mitzvah. No reception. No theme. No party planner. No entertainment. But in a sleepy town in Ireland, without fanfare, a Jewish boy became aware of his rightful place in the Jewish nation.

By Dovid Blecher and Osher Gutnick
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Misss Columbus, OH October 31, 2012

I happened to stumble upon this. What a simple story. It instantly brought tears to my eyes.

A story without fanfare, and yet the story is perfect. Reply

chaya bracha kerry , ireland August 15, 2012

Mazal Tov to Chaim Connor, the very best of luck to you Reply

Malka Miami, Fl August 15, 2012

Every summer, I look forward to "roving Rabbis" (ok, sometimes I forget, but good ole' reminds me...) Each story is so precious--as are all the stories which are never recorded and "published" -- and I know and feel that the Rebbe is here and getting nachas from each and every one of you guys...thanks for sharing! and, of course, thanks for being the ultimate lamplighters! Reply

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