Frequently Asked Questions

Will I or someone on my end have to be involved with muting and unmuting and other technical things?


NO! You will need only a computer to connect to the zoom call. If someone in your group can also connect to the Zoom Call on a cell phone as well, it will enhance the final movie by providing additional views.




Can you explain how the Jerusalem part fits in?


Yes. I will be in Jerusalem with a zoom background of the Kotel, or of Masada, if you prefer. I will weave the theme of Israel/Jerusalem/Masada into the ceremony to make it even more meaningful. Creating spirituality on a zoom call can be challenging; having the additional factor of Israel as a part of the celebration can help greatly. Also, the added experiences of the note in the wall, the personalized greetings from Israelis and the opportunity to designate some of the child’s gifts to a charity of their choice all serve to strengthen the Israel connection.




Please explain why having Chaim, an AV professional, is preferable to me managing the Zoom call myself?


Most important, having someone else be in charge allows you to be totally in the moment. Chaim uses state of the art cameras and amplification equipment, all of which make both the zoomcast and the final keepsake video SO much better! Chaim’s expert management of the event will keep all of your guests completely engaged, and you will be able to see how much fun everyone had when you watch the recording. And finally, many things can and do go wrong in Zoom calls every day. It is very reassuring to know that there is someone in charge on the call with over 30 years of AV experience who can try to help you fix the glitch if/when it happens. Of course Chaim cannot restore your internet if it crashes permanently, but if something solvable happens, he will try to quickly diagnose and walk you through the solution.




How can I be sure that my child will hit it off with you, Rabbi Ebstein?


I have done over 1000 B’nei Mitzvah in my career for families that come to Israel to celebrate, and have learned carefully the art of getting to know people from a distance. I correspond with each child as soon as we “meet”, and I ask them to introduce themselves to me which I use as a starting point for our relationship. You can see from the testimonials that both the parents and the children that I work with feel comfortable with me and much much more…




What if my child has never attended Hebrew school or had any Jewish educational training?


During our first “meeting”, we can talk about what you think are realistic expectations for your child’s celebration. S/he will need to prepare the minimum needed to be called to the Torah, which is a 3 line blessing before the Torah is read, and 1 line blessing after. Of course I would be much happier if your child learned to read the blessings in the original Hebrew, but if that is impossible, there is always transliteration.




What if my child is not yet of Bar/Bat Mitzvah age?


Your daughter becomes a Bat Mitzvah a day after her 12th Jewish birthday. Boys become a Bar Mitzvah a day after their 13th Jewish birthday. Use this helpful date converter to figure out your child’s Jewish birthday. You may celebrate anytime after these days. On certain occasions, there is some latitude to celebrate “early” if there are extenuating circumstances. But since a Zoom Mitzvah is from your home, and you are not struggling with school vacations, crowded synagogue schedules etc., it is most genuine to celebrate on time or after the actual date…




Will you officiate at a Zoom Mitzvah on a Saturday?


No, I am a Conservative Rabbi and am Sabbath observant . As such I can’t be on a Zoom Call on Shabbat. Here are the days you can choose from: Mondays, Thursdays, once a month on Rosh Chodesh - the New Moon, the intermediate days (Chol HaMoed) of Sukkot and Passover, Chanukah, and Purim. Below is a list of possible dates for 2020 and 2021. List of Days to Celebrate B’nei Mitzvah in 2020 and 2021 2020 All Mondays and Thursdays except: July 30, Sept 21=Fast Days Sept 28, 2020 = Yom Kippur PLUS these additional celebration days: Weds, July 22, Rosh Chodesh Av Fri, Aug 21, Rosh Chodesh Elul (Service would have to be completed by 5:30 PM Israel time) Tues and Weds, Oct 6-7 (Intermediate days of Sukkot) Sun, Oct 18, Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan Tues, Nov 17, Rosh Chodesh Kislev Sun-Weds, Dec 13-16, Chanukah
2021 All Mondays and Thursdays except: March 29, Second day of Passover April 8, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah May 17, First Day of Shavuot Sept 6, Rosh HaShana is that night. Not prohibited, just logistically complex. Sept 9 = Fast Day Sept 16 = Yom Kippur Sept 20, Sukkot is that night. Service would have to be completed by 4:45 PM Israel time Sept 27, Shemini Atzeret is that night. Service would have to be completed by 4:45 PM Israel time PLUS these additional celebration days: Sun, March 14, Rosh Chodesh Nissan Tues and Weds, March 30-31, Intermediate days of Passover Fri, April 2, Intermediate day of Passover (Service would have to be competed by 5:00 PM Israel time) Tues, April 13, Rosh Chodesh Iyar Fri, Sept 24 and Sun, Sept 26 - Intermediate days of Sukkot (Service would have to be competed by 4:30 PM Israel time) Sun, Nov 28-Weds, Dec 1, Chanukah Sun, Dec 5, Chanukah




Can you explain all about paying for a Zoom Mitzvah and the enhancements you offer on the site?


In order to begin working with Rabbi Ebstein, and/or close on a date and time, you will need to put down a non-refundable $400 deposit. To begin your tutoring, you will need to pay in advance. Families needing to reschedule tutoring sessions are welcome to do so (with 48 hours notice) directly with the tutor. Unutilized lesson fees will not be refunded. In order for take advantage of the FedEx shipping option you will need to pay in advance. 2 weeks before the Bar/Bat Mitzvah day, you will need to pay your balance in full. You can pay either through the platform on the website or by Zelle, using the email address renamagun@gmail.com You can also wire money to our US bank account, but there is a $25 surcharge for the money-wiring fee. E-mail us about this at renamagun@gmail.com Click here to book now!




What if the Bar/Bat Mitzvah is longer than 45 minutes- will the call get cut off?


No worries...we have an unlimited Zoom account but we do recommend that you limit the service to 90 minutes, as people are doing a lot of zooming these days.