The Lighter Side! Where there’s a will, there’s OY VEY!

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The Lighter Side! Where there’s a will, there’s OY VEY!

Brigit Grant talks about her daughter's fab batmitzvah under lockdown, with chocolate shoes and reading her portion of the Torah

Brigit Grant is the Jewish News Supplements Editor

The Batmitzvah Doorstep Photography of Madisons  at Their home, in Barnet On May2020 By Adam Soller Photography
The Batmitzvah Doorstep Photography of Madisons at Their home, in Barnet On May2020 By Adam Soller Photography

Where there’s a will, there’s OY VEY!

The title across this column could not be more fitting this week. The fusion of the idiom, ‘Where there’s a will…’ with the familiar Yiddish phrase for dismay, summed up the mixed emotions generated by my daughter’s virtual batmitzvah last Saturday. Think determination and pride with a tinge of disappointment and you’ll get a picture of how we felt on a day when the weather was perfect for the marquee garden party originally planned.

So instead of green grass, there was a green screen with a backdrop of the ark at Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue. We’d briefly toyed with an image of The Simpsons’ sitting room to warm up the crowd, but realised reciting  the Bamidbar required a bit of respect.

Madison would have gone with the Ru Paul set backdrop, as she had ingeniously correlated a link between her portion and LGBTQ acceptance. In her opinion, neither Jews nor drag queens should be left in the wilderness – which was a persuasive concept for a socially distanced audience.

The Batmitzvah Doorstep Photography of Madisons at Their home, in Barnet On May2020 By Adam Soller Photography

And what an audience it was, with friends and family joining the Zoom from around the world, having set their alarms in their respective time zones in order to shout “Shkoyach!” once unmuted.  We could never have accommodated all of them in our house, I mused later, so there are unexpected benefits to a streamed simcha.

Our intention post-bat was to fly to Israel, but empty skies kept us grounded. However, it enabled Shtisel producer Dikla Barkai to join an unsynchronished Adon Olam from the Holy Land. As the host, Rabbi Emily Reitsma-Jurman was as professional as Richard Osman, although this online event was anything but Pointless judging from the very real tears on familiar faces.

Chocolate shoe, anyone?

In keeping with the trend of the times, photographs were taken on the doorstep and in the garden by Adam Soller ( who made light work of taking memorable, perfectly-lit shots and emailing them to us soon after. I noted that unlike ‘real time’ Jewish functions, everything ran like clockwork, including delivery of a sumptuous BBQ spread with salads by caterer Kushan Marthelis, who doubles as an artisan chocolatier ( and brought fruit inlaid bars surrounding a chocolate stiletto.

Eating shoes was never part of my pre-simcha diet schedule, but neither was praying in a celebrity squares-style set-up on the computer. For those still to celebrate this way, prepare for a virtually perfect experience as ultimately there’s nothing like keeping it real.

Antipasti platters


Desperately seeking

Bruce Silverman

Do you love and miss your hairdresser, personal trainer or osteopath enough to pay for their advertising? Bruce Silverman does – and plans to continue with his campaign to save and revive Sutherland House after lockdown.

“They’re angels,” declares Bruce, 66, who managed to avoid back surgery with the help of the multidisciplinary centre In Temple Fortune, which offers a wide range of innovative treatments alongside osteopathy, physiotherapy, exercise physiology, acupuncture and psychotherapy.

Eva Hadjidemetri

The sense of relief one experiences after finding a practitioner who can stop chronic pain is indescribable, and that was Bruce’s experience when physiotherapist Eva Hadjidemetri cured his severe spinal problem some years ago, followed by physio after a knee replacement and healing for residual pain from open heart surgery.

“Eva is extraordinary,” kvells Bruce, who has been doing the daily exercises on the YouTube channel.

“People come from all over Europe for treatment with Eva, her partner Judith Landhausser, and the other experts who work with them.

Judith Landhausser

In normal circumstances, I visit the clinic weekly out of necessity, so I need them more than ever now.”

Relaxing of restrictions means the clinic can open on 1 June, but with
reduced appointments.

“We have all the personal protective equipment in place, as protecting our patients is paramount,” explains Eva. Appointments will be staggered, but it’s likely Bruce will be front of the queue. or call 020 8458 7869



David Corenswet

Hollywood, the Netflix show about post-Second World War Tinsel Town delivered a new celeb crush to our batmitzvah girl in the form of devilishly handsome David Corenswet, who happens to hail from a prominent Jewish New Orleans family. The series, which follows a group of aspiring actors, is wildly inappropriate for a 13-year-old (believe me, I’ve tried to make that clear), but has a decent helping of other Jewish talent, including veteran wit Rob Reiner and Judd Apatow’s daughter, Maude. But David has won the girl’s heart and she has invested in a cut-out until she can travel.


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