JERUSALEM (JTA) — The son of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel celebrated his bar mitzvah in Jerusalem.
The ceremony, during which Zach Emanuel and his cousin Noah read from the week’s Torah portion and delivered a d’var Torah, took place Sunday morning at the Davidson Center in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The hourlong ceremony at the center, located at the southern wall excavations area near the Western Wall, was held near Robinson’s Arch.
About 50 people, most family members, participated in the ceremony. They arrived at the center in secrecy early in the morning, according to reports. Security was heavy for the family and guests.
There had been fears that extremists would disrupt the ceremony. Press was also prevented from entering the area. Activists had heckled the Emanuel family three days earlier as it toured the Old City of Jerusalem.
Activist Itamar Ben-Gvir had filed a complaint with the Jerusalem District Court for Administrative Affairs charging that Emanuel’s plan to hold his son’s bar mitzvah at the Davidson Center is illegal since the center is not licensed to hold such events. The municipality responded that no license was necessary since only prayers, and no catered meal or music, were scheduled to take place.