Formerly concierge, now the king of photography Montreal Bar Mitzvah

Mr. Rocha suddenly found himself braving a Quebec winter, unemployed, isolated and unable to speak French. After an initially difficult ...


Mr. Rocha suddenly found himself braving a Quebec winter, unemployed, isolated and unable to speak French. After an initially difficult adjustment, he proposed to Sonia in a tea room, hiding a $ 150 ring in a teacup. He said he found a purpose after Sonia’s aunt, who worked in Shaar’s kitchen, helped him secure the janitor job.

He immediately felt at home at the synagogue, he said, and was particularly drawn to the spiritual significance of a bar or bat mitzvah, the rite of passage in which a boy or girl affirms their commitment. towards Judaism. Sometimes he would stop vacuuming to sit on the benches and listen, fascinated, to the haunting voice of Cantor Zelermyer chanting prayers.

“I am a baptized Catholic, but in a synagogue I feel a very strong bond, something speaks to me,” he said.

It was while dusting the benches and watching the bar mitzvah photographers at work that the idea first occurred to him that photographing bar mitzvahs was his “destiny”.

“I saw the photographers standing too close to the bar mitzvah boy, and the voice in my head was like, ‘No, no, no, it’s all wrong. God gives you that light and you don’t do it, ”he recalls. “But I was the janitor, so I kept dusting.”

Then came the breaking epiphany.

The grandmother was so thrilled with the resulting moody cinematic photos that she paid her $ 130 for the job, an improvement over her janitor salary of $ 10 an hour.

Emboldened, Mr. Rocha asked the synagogue leadership if he could film other events. Within two years, he was photographing weddings and bar mitzvahs, for as much as $ 8,000, and, for a while, donned his janitor’s uniform to clean the toilets. Sometimes he worked such long days that he slept on a synagogue bench.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Formerly concierge, now the king of photography Montreal Bar Mitzvah
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