After 2 years of lockdowns, Ottawa’s Jewish community threw one giant party for 115 b’nai mitzvah

Kehillat Beth Israel in Ottawa held a belated bar and bat mitzvah celebration for 115 teens in June 2022. (Photo by Jason Green)

Last Sunday, 115 teenagers in Ottawa celebrated their b’nai mitzvah—together—in a long-awaited, pent-up party after pandemic postponements. The celebrants got to enjoy all the trimmings a pre-COVID simcha would have had, including a DJ, glow sticks, a photo booth and swag. The teens were part of a “COVID cohort” event put on by Kehillat Beth Israel, a Conservative synagogue in Ottawa, for Jewish kids from all across the city—not just their own members. The kids all had their individual coming-of-age ceremonies during the pandemic (either virtually or in virtually empty sanctuaries), making this past Sunday purely for the party.

To hear about how it all went down, we’re joined by organizer Ruta Fluxgold; the shul’s cantor, Jason Green; 14-year-old Alivia Greenberg and her mother, Melanie Itzkovitch; 13-year-old Ravi Wolfish; Michal Jacob and her daughter, Ella Fletcher; teen Jordan Secter; and synagogue board member David Lyman.

What we talked about:

  • Visit Kehillat Beth Israel’s website at
  • Watch Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech to Canadian university students at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy’s YouTube channe


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