Entire Local Jewish Community Invited
After Hurricane Harvey hit eastern Texas, Houston which is among the significantly affected cities has been left with whole parts underwater, including its mostly Jewish neighborhood.
In this mood of sadness and loss, a boy from Houston and his family invited the greater Jewish community around the city to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah. The ceremony is customarily meant for invites-only, but this was not an ordinary occasion on a regular day.
Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss of the Shma Koleinu – a congregation that has no permanent house of worship, opened Saturday’s ceremony with words of wisdom. As 13-year-old Doran Evan Yustein’s Bar Mitzvah kicked off, Rabbi Scott Hausman spoke about the importance of coming as one at such time of trouble as a congregation and community as a whole.
His home, just like those of many others in the area was severely damaged by the floods. However, he told the congregation that they should all celebrate as they still have their lives, families and that chance to be together in gathering.
Rabbi Hausman-Weiss held a service on Facebook for his congregants on the Friday that the storm hit. He would have held the service in his home, but the flood severely damaged it. Therefore, on Saturday, the first Sabbath since the previous week’s Sabbath, Rabbi Scott Hausman ministered to the greater Jewish community. This was done in Doran’s Bar Mitzvah held at Brith Shalom’s synagogue in Bellaire
Gabrielle Moses, Doran’s mother, said the intention of the gathering was not only for the Bar Mitzvah but also for joint prayers for their community. Hausman-Weiss’s wife, Natalie Hausman-Weiss said, “This is the time when you need people to show they care and lift you up.” The synagogue was almost half full, with friends and family of Doran’s and other people such as Bernadine Frank came to seek comfort during this trying time