- Jordana Shmidman’s bat mitzvah celebration in New York had to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- The food was already prepared, so the Shmidman family told the caterers to package it up for delivery to people in quarantine.
- Parent volunteers delivered the food to quarantined staff members of SAR High School in Riverdale, New York, where two students tested positive for coronavirus.
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Young members of the Jewish community often organise charitable projects to mark their transitions into adulthood. Jordana Shmidman’s bat mitzvah turned out to be an opportunity in itself.
After two people tested positive for coronavirus at SAR Academy, a private Jewish day school in the Bronx, New York, the school closed on March 3 and sent its students and staff members into quarantine. One of those quarantined students was Shmidman, whose coming-of-age bat mitzvah celebration was supposed to take place on Monday night. It was also the Jewish holiday of Purim, which involves eating a festive meal.
The food for her event had already been prepared, but the Shmidmans didn’t want it to go to waste. They instructed Foremost Caterers to divide the food into individual boxes. Parent volunteers then coordinated deliveries across the New York metropolitan area for staff members and their families in quarantine. That way, people confined to their homes could still enjoy a Purim meal.
“The Shmidman family donated the food not used for the bat mitzvah, and Foremost Caterers packaged up everything and coordinated things onsite with our volunteers,” Lauren Katz, SAR High School’s director of alumni relations and communications, told Insider. “We had two dozen parent volunteers, from each of the communities our faculty live: Bergen County, Riverdale/Bronx, Westchester, Manhattan, Queens and Rockland County.”
The boxes contained portions of pesto salmon, balsamic chicken, a “rocket dog” package with a hamburger, hot dog, fries and onion rings, butternut squash soup, fresh fruit, dinner rolls, and traditional hamantaschen cookies for the holiday of Purim.
Shmidman ended up livestreaming her bat mitzvah ceremony over Zoom, Yahoo! News reported.
It’s just one of the many ways people have been helping strangers amid the coronavirus pandemic. Students in Nebraska sent get well soon cards to people in quarantine, while meals prepared for a sports festival in Ohio were sent to tornado victims in Nashville, Tennessee, after the event was called off.
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