Jake Lowy celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at Jewish Care’s Clore Manor home in Hendon recently with his grandpa Harry (Herschel) Helfgott together with his parents Janine (Helfgott Lowy) and Russell and his sister Lily, who is 11. As his grandpa wasn’t able to attend the bar mitzvah at Jake’s shul, Cockfosters & Southgate, this weekend (22 April) the family brought his bar mitzvah to the home so that they could celebrate the simcha together.

Rabbi Daniel Epstein of Cockfosters & Southgate Shul and Rabbi Junik who provides Jewish Care’s pastoral support to residents and members were there to celebrate with the family. Rabbi Junik visits Harry, whose Hebrew name is Tzvi Ephraim ben Elisha, at the home every day to help him put on his tefillin.

Jake, who attends JCoSS school, layned his Bar Mitzvah sedra in the home’s synagogue, (Shemini, Leviticus 9-11). Speaking later on, he said, “It was a very inspirational and emotional experience for both me and my grandpops.  I will cherish this moment forever.”

Jake’s mum, Janine added, “We had no idea what to expect with my Dad, as we know with dementia, it is always so unpredictable. It was like someone switched something on in my Dad when his tallit was put on him. His face lit up listening to Jake…to see my Dad so happy and emotional made it so worthwhile.”

Rabbi Epstein reflected on the service at the home afterwards, commenting, “This was one of the most emotional Torah readings I have ever experienced. Jake read his upcoming barmitzvah portion for his grandfather and when we put a Tallit (prayer shawl) on him and he touched the Torah spindles and recited the blessings word perfectly, with no prompting.

“If we teach our children when they are young, even if their memories become locked away in later life, the prayers of our youth never leave us. Mazal Tov to the whole Lowy family.”