Officiant: Rabbi Stacey Nolish Blank of Reform/Progressive Kehilat Tzur Hadassah in Jerusalem, via Zoom
Celebration: Ariel’s backyard
School: Solon Middle School
How did you adapt your bat mitzvah as a result of the pandemic?
Ariel: Instead of going to Israel with my extended family and having my bat mitzvah at the Wall, we held my bat mitzvah in my home and shared it via Zoom with family, friends and Montefiore residents (Ariel’s father, Seth Vilensky, is former president and CEO of Montefiore, and vice president of business development and community services at Menorah Park in Beachwood). We had a lunch celebration outside afterwards for my immediate family.
What was the best part of the day?
Ariel: Reading from the Torah.
What advice do you have for other young adults preparing for their bar or bat mitzvahs?
Ariel: If you are holding your bar or bat mitzvah online, try to stay focused and not be surprised about weird sounds on Zoom. Also, keep in mind having an online bat mitzvah allows more friends and family to attend from around the world.
“Watching Ariel do such a beautiful job and knowing that so many family and friends were sharing in our celebration (was the best part of the day).” – Parents Emily and Seth Vilensky