Hundreds tune in for north London teen’s virtual barmitzvah

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Hundreds tune in for north London teen’s virtual barmitzvah

The Hampstead Garden Suburb teen, who according to his dad leined 'so beautifully', marked the milestone with his parents and sister Lottie

  • Lottie and Ellie Cannon
    Lottie and Ellie Cannon
  • Jude Cannon
    Jude Cannon
  • Jude and his mum the TV doctor Ellie Cannon
    Jude and his mum the TV doctor Ellie Cannon

As synagogues remained closed, hundreds of people around the world watched a north London teenager celebrate his barmitzvah online.

While the get-together planned for the occasion was postponed to the autumn, Jude Cannon was able to mark the milestone in his living room on Wednesday, with friends and family tuning in.

The 13 year-old from Hampstead Garden Suburb, who according to his dad leined “so beautifully”, was joined by his parents and his sister Lottie, 16, and hundreds watching remotely.

Since yesterday evening, the video – which features Chazan Avromi Freilich and rabbis Daniel Friedman and Ephraim Guttentag – has been viewed over 860 times.

Both sets of grandparents watched the livestream at home, as did relatives in Israel and the US and others based in Qatar, Canada and Switzerland.

“How amazing the shul were,” said Jude’s mum, the TV doctor Dr Ellie Cannon, 43, about Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue.”They made a huge effort with both tech but also the entire rabbinic team. And it took us three hours to read all the messages we received afterwards.”

Jude’s dad, Adam Cannon, 46, a media lawyer, said the audience “was larger than the average audience would be in a shul” and included some who would otherwise have been unable to see the ceremony.

Jude and his mum the TV doctor Ellie Cannon

Broadcasting Jude’s barmitzvah gave a “real lift” to those watching and helped them stay at home during the pandemic, he said. “It was really emotional to be able to sit in our living room in the current circumstances and still feel you are part of the barmitzvah and it was amazing to be able to hear Jude lein so beautifully.”

Jude received outpourings of support from his friends. “He had lots of messages from his friends on social media and on WhatsApp saying ‘I enjoyed it’ and how great it was. That made him feel really good, even though he wasn’t physically with his friends.”

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