BELLAIRE, Texas (AP) - A Houston teen and his family invited the broader Jewish community to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah, a typically invite-only Jewish ceremony ushering a boy into manhood.
Scott Hausman-Weiss, the rabbi for Shma Koleinu, a congregation that doesn't have a permanent house of worship, opened 13-year-old Doran Evan Yustein's Bar Mitzvah on Saturday by pointing out the importance of coming together as a congregation and broader community at such times of hardship.
Like many in the region, his home was badly damaged by flooding from Harvey, but told the gathering: "We have an obligation to celebrate, nonetheless, because we are alive and have what is most important: ourselves, our families and this great opportunity to be together."
Doran's mother, Gabrielle Moses, says her family wanted people to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah but also to offer prayers for the community "because there's been so much sadness."
© 2018 Associated Press