Mazel Tov: Celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, new pets and much more


photo courtesy of Dalia Greenblum

Dalia Greenblum holds her new dog, Kingston.

Despite numerous challenges, birthdays, B’nai Mitzvot, anniversaries, weddings and other milestones are all still happening, albeit in different ways.

Math teacher Robert Shorr and his fiancé have been planning their upcoming wedding for nearly five months. Shorr got engaged in mid-January and their wedding is set for August 2.

In lieu of a traditional ceremony, Shorr’s wedding will be live-streamed and the party will likely be postponed until it is deemed safe to celebrate in person.

“Everyone has been really supportive… friends have been very understanding.” Shorr said.

Shorr and his fiancé have kept a positive attitude, irrespective of the inconvenient situation, throughout the planning process.

“We hoped to have a lot of dancing, which is definitely not happening,” Shorr said. “It’s safer to be individual.”

Weddings aren’t the only celebrations happening during the quarantine.

On March 30, history teacher Eytan Apter celebrated his birthday. Apter was disappointed to be at home for his birthday because he enjoys spending time with his friends, but could not, under the circumstances.

“My birthday was on a Monday and usually the Shabbat around, I have family and friends over to have dinner,” Apter said, “It was very different not having any of my friends.”

Sixth-grader David Kempner also celebrated his birthday at home.

“Last year it rained so I couldn’t do something with my friends,” Kempner said. “Usually I do something with my friends like a sleepover.”

This year, several of Kempner’s friends walked by his house to say hello and wish him a happy birthday. This was a very different situation for Kempner, and while he was a bit disappointed, he still had a fun time.

To comply with current guidelines, visiting friends and family on special events and standing six-feet apart has become a common way to celebrate milestones. Others have devised increasingly creative ways of celebration, including driving by a friend’s house with posters and blasting music, or parking cars in a circle and sitting in the trunks to talk.

Several members of the community adopted new pets Eighth-grader Dalia Greenblum and her family recently welcomed Kingston, a mini Bernese Mountain Dog into their home.

“We were thinking about getting [a dog] after the summer, but when quarantine started my parents decided we should just do it now,” Greenblum said.

Greenblum loves playing with Kingston, as he provides companionship and helps occupy her time.

Greenblum was not the only one to welcome a new puppy into their family. Freshman Josh Einhorn and his family have fostered dogs in the past and decided that now was the perfect time to foster another one since they have plenty of time to take care of it.

Both Einhorn and Greenblum said that before they welcomed these puppies, quarantine was tedious and not exciting, but they now have something to occupy them.

“I’ll take him outside and he can actually fetch now,” Greenblum said. “He loves being outside.”

This story was featured in The Lion’s Tale’s June 2020 magazine.