(JTA) — The rabbi of a roving congregation in Houston opened a bar mitzvah service to the entire Jewish community in the wake of catastrophic flooding.
Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss’ home was so damaged by the flooding that he was unable to hold services there this weekend, a week after Hurricane Harvey hit the area. So he arranged to have Shabbat services for his Shma Koleinu congregation at Congregation Brith Shalom in Bellaire, Texas, and he opened the bar mitzvah service and celebratory meal for 13-year-old Doran Evan Yustein to the entire Jewish community, The Associated Press reported.
“We wanted people to come and celebrate the bar mitzvah, but also offer prayers for the community because there’s been so much sadness, and so many lives have been affected,” Doran’s mother, Gabrielle Moses, told AP.
Many came to the service because they were invited, and others came because they needed to feel connected after such a difficult week.
Last week, Hausman-Weiss held a Friday night service for his congregants on Facebook since they were busy getting their homes ready for the storm or had left town.