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Looking for Ideas for Zoom Upshernish

 
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amother




OP
 

Post  Sat, Sep 26 2020, 2:41 pm
I'm not sure where to post this--I would love ideas from those in Israel as well as out.

My son will be turning three on chol hamoed. Due to the current restrictions here in Israel, we won't be able to have even a small/outdoor (I.e., sukkah) celebration. We just moved to a new neighbourhood and the only people we would have invited anyway would have been friends from other cities, and my husband's parents/grandparents--older people with health conditions we have not been spending time with in any case other than outdoors and masked.

So it seems that we will be conducting the whole thing via zoom, and that way we can "invite" my family in the US at least.

I would love to hear ideas for how best to do this. For my older son, we had a big community-wide event (we lived in the U.S. and belonged to a shul then, etc.)... most people took a snip, said mazel tov, mingled a bit, and left.

There's not that much structure to an upshernish, and it would really be me and my husband and young kids present, so inviting people just to watch isn't much and mingling doesn't work so well on zoom--it's either everyone shouting at once (with my family) and/or ignoring the people present in order to engage the zoom participants. Not sure how to explain my question exactly but I'd love to hear thoughts and ideas for how to do this!

I have not personally attended any simchos on zoom--how do people do it? How do people do it without diminishing the experience of those physically present?

We did invite some of my family via zoom to one of my older kids' birthday parties recently, and I found that as soon as I started talking to the screen, the "real life" party sort of fell apart... I wonder if with planning there's some way to prevent this. Like to plan some sort of structured interaction, instead of leaving it to spontaneous watching/chit-chat? What's the format or structure that we want?

Thanks very much in advance for any thoughts/suggestions/tips/ideas!
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amother




OP
 

Post  Mon, Sep 28 2020, 3:07 pm
Anyone? Surely we can’t be the first ones trying to do this.
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Bluepink




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 28 2020, 9:22 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Anyone? Surely we can’t be the first ones trying to do this.

Following. I plan to make an outdoor socially distanced upsherin in several weeks but may have to zoom instead, depending on how the covid outbreak in my area continues...
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amother




Hotpink
 

Post  Mon, Sep 28 2020, 11:05 pm
My son had a zoom upsherin - we fave him his haircut and everyone watched, then sang Mazel tov...one of my kids held the tablet to video it all so I wasn’t so busy with it.
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amother




Chocolate
 

Post  Mon, Sep 28 2020, 11:53 pm
I’m not sure how it worked but I “went” to a wedding that was streamed live on YouTube. People could watch and comment but there was no live interaction between guests and hosts. Maybe look into that?
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cuffs




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 28 2020, 11:56 pm
I would do the haircut on zoom and everyone can wish mazel tov and then have the party yourselves.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Sep 29 2020, 3:02 am
Thanks everyone!

I know weddings are often just watched, it just seems like there isn't really all that much to see with an upshernish. It's usually just a snip here or there mixed with tzedakah and social interactions, and sometimes finishing up afterwards because it doesn't all get done neatly at the actual event... There's not a lot of structured ceremony to it and it will just be my husband and I and young kids. And I hate to feel like we are performing for the screen. But I guess maybe that is all there is to it. Probably we'll try to set up the screen in advance rather than relying on a kid to figure out best placement in the moment--the kids will all want to be busy with the upshernish boy, or interacting with the person/people--not just passively catch the action.

I do wonder though if there's a way to ask participants to plan a contribution. Especially families with other kids. Cuz my new three-year-old is definitely not old enough to just sit and passively receive mazel tons, and neither for that matter are my others. But maybe if the cousins sing a song or something...

Thoughts on how wide a group to invite? My first thought is just immediate siblings and their kids (so my kids' first cousins) but the sky's kind of the limit when it comes to zoom... On the other hand then it is for sure a "watching only" kind of thing. We do have a wider group of aunts uncles and cousins some of whom would probably join if the time is convenient.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Sep 29 2020, 3:04 am
cuffs wrote:
I would do the haircut on zoom and everyone can wish mazel tov and then have the party yourselves.


That might work. If by "party" you mean that's when we bring out the refreshments. Because then the excitement and momentum will still be there for the actual haircut, and we're not asking people to just watch our kids eat cookies.
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amother




Lavender
 

Post  Tue, Sep 29 2020, 3:19 am
I am pretty sure there are no haircuts on chol hamoed. You can zoom the actual haircut or have people zoom and say mazel tov to your son. We took my son to the Rav to have his first snip of hair cut and then the barber. The party was small with only a couple of his cousins coming. It was what he asked for.
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amother




Floralwhite
 

Post  Tue, Sep 29 2020, 3:20 am
I will be completely honest here. I'd watch this for a sibling's child, if it was convenient timing (esp when you consider time zones.) But really doubt if I'd be tuning in live for a cousin's, though I'd feel pressured to because people know if you logged on to their zoom session. I'd leave the invitations for immediate family only.
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amother




Turquoise
 

Post  Tue, Sep 29 2020, 3:51 am
I'd keep it more to immediate family, less chaotic and idk how much interest there is for others to watch the haircut. Maybe prepare a message for your older kids to say/read out loud to your zoom guests. Focus more on those physically present though or they're ignored... But I'm going to second asking your rabbi, we don't usually cut hair on chol hamoed.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Sep 29 2020, 6:10 am
We already spoke to rabbonim and though there were thoughts both ways, the final conclusion we were told was that we should do the haircut on chol hamoed.

Re extended family: I agree that I also would not necessarily want to tune in or find it easy to do so for my cousins' kids--however my impulse is always to keep things small and I don't want to be a party pooper and exclude people who DO want to come (wasn't really thinking of cousins, more grandparents and aunts who don't have kids in the house). I also don't want to pressure anyone in particular to join, so an open invitation seems easiest. But I am actually happier to keep it smaller, so thanks for corroborating my feeling.

Of course the zoom will be scheduled to be convenient for those in the US.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Sep 29 2020, 6:12 am
amother [ Lavender ] wrote:
I am pretty sure there are no haircuts on chol hamoed. You can zoom the actual haircut or have people zoom and say mazel tov to your son. We took my son to the Rav to have his first snip of hair cut and then the barber. The party was small with only a couple of his cousins coming. It was what he asked for.


No rav, no cousins in the picture here. But it did occur to me that we can drive to the sidewalk near my mil's house, or some nearby outdoor location, for her to take a snip.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Oct 01 2020, 2:14 am
not quite related to my original question on this thread, so maybe I should start another one, but I'm wondering what people think about this... we pretty much settled on the drive-by with my mil followed by zoom with just my immediate family. and now my mil is saying she thinks we should also invite my husband's aunt--her sister-in-law--to the zoom.

we have nothing to do with her, but in my mil's words it's a small family and that's my husband's closest relative... and I'm just annoyed. my kids actually have something to do with some of my parents siblings, but we still decided to keep it limited to who we can actually interact with in a way that will be meaningful. I hate feeling like a nachas machine/performer for people who aren't actually part of our lives, "because it's a small family." I feel like if you want to enjoy the highs--try to be a part of our everyday lives as well. don't just come and watch a show at birthday parties etc. we're not living our lives for show...
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