Dimdim is a free Web video-conferencing service, clearly aimed at the business world–an easy way to exchange PowerPoints and the like. But according to a press release that arrived in our in-boxes this morning, Dimdim’s service may be good for something else: the virtual b’nai mitzvah! “As long as all Dimdim invited guests have a laptop with webcam, you can set up the invitations for free and record portions of the bar mitzvah,” the company boasts. “Everyone can view each other as clearly as if you’re in the same room. How lovely would it be that long distance relatives can even join at one person’s home and all watch the bar mitzvah together—celebrating the mitzvah in a unique way.” Kind of like a destination bar mitzvah, except, you know, the exact, total reverse.
Lest you think this is just one of those things that only works “in theory,” Dimdim informs us that “Steve Chazin, Marketing Director of Dimdim, decided to change this spending cyclone at his son’s bar mitzvah” and invited certain out-of-town guests via the service; doing so saved him “a small fortune.” Hopefully Chazin’s desire to tighten his own belt doesn’t mean that Dimdim faces a dimdim financial outlook—although that would explain the company’s foray into the haftarah industry.
Anyway, maybe there’s some more room to run with this! Perhaps those in the synagogue can place a laptop upon the central podium and allow a distant relative to say a prayer (admittedly, this would probably only work at reform congregations—very reform congregations). If you are invited via Dimdim, why not reciprocate the cost-saving favor that your “hosts” did for you by virtually sending your gift, also via Dimdim? That way, you can keep the gift! And how about a Dimdim hora: five or ten people, dancing in a circle in a living room, hoisting a laptop atop a chair. You can even supplement the music coming through Dimdim with your own recording on iTunes.
And after it’s all over, and you’ve attended your second-cousin-once-removed’s bat mitzvah from the comfort of your own living room, you’ll be able to look forward to your old college friend’s nephew’s Dimdim bris, just a few months away.