Zoomtivah: A night to be forgotten

Liliana Greyf, Staff Writer

“This year has been filled with loss,” Kan Twait-Torage (7) said. “But nothing has hurt quite as badly as realizing that I won’t get to post a photo booth picture on Instagram of every single bat and bar-mitzvah that I attend with the caption ‘Mazels! You killed it on the bima and looked so pretty at your party!’” 

Last week, a majority of the seventh grade attended the first party of this year’s bar and bat-mitzvah season: Redi Toopartee’s (7) “Zoom Bash,” an online party to celebrate her ability to read a Hebrew transliteration so that her parents would pay for her dress and Alexander McQueen sneakers. 

Toopartee has been looking forward to the event since she was seven — she even took a photo on her first day of second grade and thought, “this will look so good in my montage,” she said. “Obvi, I’m like really sad that it’s not in person and stuff. My venue was gonna be really sick, but whatever.”

Although Toopartee toyed with the idea, she ultimately decided not to have a theme for her party. “Mostly I just wanted everything to have a recognizable brand name,” Toopartee said. “I have to stick with what’s important to me.”

Still, Toopartee’s peers were prepared to celebrate her special day. “I got the new MacBook in the mail and was so confused — I already got that one last week! But when I saw ‘RP’ etched into the top in purple rhinestones, I realized that it was an invitation to the Bash,” Lotta Munni (7) said. “The home screen was preset as the Zoom code. Adorable!”

The party favors didn’t stop there, Sawk Ermom P’26 said. “I opened our mailbox on the morning of the party and saw that someone had left a box of pigs in a blanket in there,” she said. “It turns out that the Toopartees wanted to really recreate the feeling of a real event, so she provided dinner that was a little cold, a little soggy, and definitely not kosher.”

To ensure there was a festive atmosphere, all guests were required to have fun Zoom backgrounds and wear black tie attire. “I just wore my sweatpants under my dress since no one could see them,” Roole Braker (7) said. “It was really nice because I didn’t have to shave my legs.” Still, Braker made sure to put on a touch of mascara and way too much coverup: “It’s not like I was trying to look bad,” she said.

Ohvehr Exçited (7) made her background a photo of Harry Styles, which most found very funny. However, Toopartee was not at all thrilled. “Everyone knows that Harry is mine,” she said. “I would bet my Hermés bracelet that she was doing that purposefully to start drama. It’s like, a real betrayal. I just rewatched Gossip Girl, so, you know.”

To truly recreate the atmosphere of a bat-mitzvah Toopartee created a Breakout Room called “Girls’ Bathroom.” “I was really looking forward to those moments when you are so tired of the party that you just stay in the bathroom until someone notices,” she said. “I just wanted people to feel as comfortable as possible.” To recreate the iconic blurry mirror selfie, Toopartee asked guests in this Breakout Room to take screenshots while holding up peace signs — ironically, of course.

All attendees also received “merch” from the party, Twait-Torage said. Toopartee found out from a Buzzfeed article that sweatpants are currently the most worn piece of clothing in the nation, so she designed loungewear with “RP” written in glitter down each leg.  

Although there were many memorable moments throughout the evening, the highlight of the event was when lovebirds Wont Attenshun (8) and Paup Yular (7) went into a breakout room to “hook up,” Yular said. “Of course we didn’t actually kiss,” she said. “But we sent red heart emojis to each other in the private chat. It was really romantic and probably the start of something new.”

Toopartee did have some worries about the event, she said. She didn’t want the program to glitch, so attendees were only allowed to unmute themselves to sing along to the lyrics of Party in the USA. “That one’s a classic, so I decided to take the risk.”

She was also worried about whether her peers would be willing to stay for all four hours of the event, Toopartee said. So, she came up with a solution. “The longer you stay, the more five dollar Apple Store gift cards you get,” she said. “If you made it to the end, we even shipped a teddy bear the size of a small car to your house.”

Unfortunately, Toopartee’s plan was not foolproof. As her best friends, Dan CeForprize (7) and Ehner Jetic (7), made their way to the stage (they were pinned on speaker mode), the whole program broke down, causing the party to end earlier than expected. “We had a whole list of our 183 inside jokes prepared,” Jetic said. “I was so sad that no one could hear us say the word ‘bestie’ 18 times in the span of three minutes.”