Aiden Nisberg celebrated his bar mitzvah on Feb. 21, at a service officiated at by Rabbi Ben Shull and Cantor Marci Vitkus at the Jewish Congregation of Venice.
The Nisbergs have a long history with Vitkus, starting when she officiated at Aiden’s parents’ wedding in October, 2005.
Two years later Alan and Megan Nisberg asked the cantor to officiate at Aiden’s baby naming, followed by his sister Esther’s baby naming a year later. And there’s yet another tie to the Vitkus family. Marci Vitkus’ husband, Andy, was Aiden’s teacher in the fifth grade. Aiden and his sister attend a school for gifted learners.
“It is incredibly profound and strikingly age defying to be (here) 13 years later officiating at Aiden’s bar mitzvah...Aiden’s most redeeming quality has to do with his heart...his gentle kindness,” Marci Vitkus said. “He is calm, centered, and immensely caring with his family.”
“This past summer I worked with Aiden and his sister Esther who will become bar mitzvah a year from now ... they both did so well that I (gave) them the ultimate teaching challenge ... So now once a month they spend 25 minutes of our Sunday School program teaching Hebrew to the rest of the kids. Aiden really guides the lesson ... he is a natural leader.”
Aiden’s bar mitzvah was the first one performed jointly by the rabbi and cantor since Rabbi Shull became the JCV spiritual leader in July.
The Jewish Congregation is at 600 N. Auburn Road, Venice.