In the midst of these strange times, many have been wondering what the best approach is to allow a Mitzvah to take place. Should it be postponed to next month? Next year? Or is there another way? Well, in comes the latest trend - Zoom Mitzvahs!
Whether on Zoom or an entirely different video conferencing platform (such as Google Hangout, Microsoft Teams, or other online options), Mitzvah ceremonies across the country have been shifting to a remote setting. Families and friends gather around, if you will, by joining the conference in the comfort of their own homes. The usual rituals are conducted by the Mitzvah in a remote setting, and anything additional that would otherwise occur in the party portion, such as the montage and shoutouts, are also displayed in this setting. With a crystal-clear, 4K camera at hand helping to enhance the viewing experience, as well as professional-grade microphones to crispen the audio, the possibilities remote viewing allow for are endless.
The events of the past year or so have forced The Montage Maven, and other entertainment companies in the New York Tri-State area & nationwide, to rethink how various festivities can be conducted and what is possible. Traditionally, events would be held in an expansive setting that allows for large crowds to gather and celebrate the particular occasion. In this era of COVID-19, however, social distancing and mask-wearing have disallowed such gatherings to take place, particularly in states with larger populations like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Florida, to name a few.
In a recent NPR article, a story was written about a family in Massachusetts who endured the same dilemma. They ultimately decided to have a Zoom Bar Mitzvah, with the rituals being performed in their own dining room! According to Rabbi Danny Burkeman of Temple Shir Tikva, "Our aim was to create for them as much as possible a digital bar Mitzvah experience... and we use the word digital because it wasn't virtual. There was nothing virtual about it. It was real." And in the midst of a global pandemic, this sense of reality is more than they could have hoped for.
We are starting to see this with our own clients as well. A Westchester County-based client of ours recently conducted a Zoom Bat Mitzvah at the end of June, and we were able to produce a beautiful montage, with visuals and graphics that caught the eyes of all viewers despite the unusual platform. They were thrilled with the final product. This has created an uptick in zoom montages as well.
With the large question mark looming over our heads in regards to a return to normalcy, the Zoom Mitzvah is proving to be the best solution. Mitzvahs are so reliant on social gatherings, which makes times like these very difficult for families all across the nation. The montage component has remained untouched, and we thankfully have a blessing with modern technology, so today’s Bar and Bat Mitzvahs can be celebrated in the comfort of our own homes!
First, we will help you clarify the vision for your upcoming Mitzvah, as well as answer questions, share ideas and provide honest feedback and recommendations.
Then, we'll produce a heartwarming montage that will not only please grandma, but will WOW your child, and entertain their friends as well!
Utilizing strategic planning & media technology, our crew will arrive with all necessary equipment and organize everything, so you can enjoy your special moment.
When all is set and done, we will produce a meaningful highlight video from the footage we compile so you can enjoy it with friends and family for years to come.
Tips to help make your zoom event an enjoyable, glitch-free experience:
Though we are gathering via Zoom, we want our time together to have our usual warmth and decorum. If you need to tend to children, pets, or other needs, please turn off your audio and video; turn them back on when your background is quiet.
Please download the Zoom app ahead of time and familiarize yourself with the controls.
Please be sure to turn on the video button so that we can see you.
Please make sure your device name identifies you. We would like to avoid participant names such as “As iPad,” or “603-222-3333.” Instead, the name should show up as “Miles Borne” or “Sam Borne’s iPad.” For the Mitzvah, you can change your identification setting by clicking on the “Participants” button (lower tab in the Zoom window). A list of participants will appear. Click the “Rename” button and enter your name in the “New Screen Name” field. Click the “OK” button and your name will appear.
You can join the event any time after the start time above. Please feel free to use the “chat” feature to make comments or ask questions.
At the end of the service, you will have the opportunity to “raise your hand” to give your sentiments.
We will be muting and unmuting people so that background noise at participants’ homes is minimized for the group.
Advance setup suggestions for a better digital experience:
The larger your screen, the better you will be able to see others.
If you’re using a cellphone, decide in advance how to prop it up in a fixed place. Not only is the movement of handheld phones distracting to others, but your hand will get tired.
Device placement: You may need to experiment with placing your device at different places or heights on the table, particularly if more than two people will be using one screen. We’d like to see your faces!
Standing up: The camera does not move with you when you stand up during the service.
Audio: If two people are in the same room using different devices, one person should disconnect their audio or simply mute from Zoom to avoid feedback.
We look forward to seeing you all on your next event!
Jack’s Zoom Mitzvah
The emergence of the Zoom Mitzvah has become a popular trend in the past year. With large crowds not being allowed to gather, those involved in mitzvah events have been forced to deviate from what has been tradition. With this particular outlet, mitzvahs have been able to be conducted digitally and shown to the masses, and the Korngold family jumped on board!
The Montage Maven was able to make this a reality with just a two-person crew; one to helm the cameras and live streaming, and the other as a Production Assistant. With proper mask-wearing and social distancing, this allowed for both a safe and effective shoot. The ceremony consisted of Jack (the Bar Mitzvah) and his parents at center-stage, if you will, along with select family members watching from behind. At just over an hour, the shoot was successful and joyous for those attending!
The creative post-production team then took the footage and created a full version of the Zoom Mitzvah, as well as a two-and-a-half minute highlight consisting of the more notable moments from the event. The use of Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects helped to make the process easier and enhanced the final product. An in-camera version of the event helped to create a clearer and crisper version of the videos, as it was shot in 4K quality.
We thoroughly enjoyed helping the Korngold family make the Bar Mitzvah for Jack a special one! They were fantastic to work with and gracious with their time. We look forward to more events with the family, l’dor v’dor, and in person Mitzvahs down the line!
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