SARASOTA, Fla. -- An 82-year-old Sarasota man will hold his bar mitzvah -- the coming-of-age ritual traditionally extended to Jewish boys upon turning 13 -- nearly 70 years later.
Sol Laufer never had his bar mitzvah when he was a teen in 1941 because the Nazis placed Laufer and his family into a Jewish ghetto during World War II. He was later sent to a concentration camp, where he subsisted on flour and sawdust bread rations and watery soup and became ill before the Soviets liberated his camp in 1945.
His entire family was killed in the Holocaust.
Saturday, Laufer will hold his bar mitzvah at Chabad of Sarasota. He is a retiree who founded a high-end optic systems company.
The rabbi at Chabad says Laufer's is the oldest initiation he's ever conducted.