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Synagogue shooting upsets boy's bar mitzvah plans

October 29, 2009 |  7:04 pm

Barm Alejandro Sisro, 13, showed up at Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic Synagogue in North Hollywood this morning in a fresh new suit, his hair combed, his Torah portion memorized, ready for his bar mitzvah, the Jewish rite of passage into adulthood.

But on the way to the synagogue the boy hit a snag — a line of police tape between him and manhood.

"There's been a police procedure in the temple," his mother, Naomi Sisro, recalled authorities as saying.

A shooting that injured two as morning prayers were getting underway forced the synagogue to shut down as police blocked off the street and searched for the gunman.

For the Sisro family, that meant calling dozens of friends and relatives — some of whom had traveled from Argentina and Mexico — and alerting them that the ceremony they had come so far to attend would be postponed, maybe even canceled. 

"I was kinda bummed," said Alejandro, an eighth-grader.

After working out a deal to reschedule for the evening services, the family got back in the car to go to the best place they could think: the Camarillo Premium Outlets. Mom was angry, dad was quiet and Alejandro wouldn't stop pestering either.

"He was crazy. He kept saying 'When can we go back? When can we go back?" his mother said.

The evening bar mitzvah ran smoothly — the rhythmic prayers, the handshakes, a pinch on the cheek from the rabbi. But the family did have to accommodate a few unexpected guests: a smattering of bar mitzvah-crashing reporters and photographers still around from the morning.

"It's not so bad. I'll get famous because everyone knows I had my bar mitzvah," Alejandro said.

And he got a new hat from the Camarillo outlets.

—Robert Faturechi in North Hollywood

Photo: Alejandro Sisro, 13, beams during his bar mitzvah at Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic Synagogue in North Hollywood.

Credit: Los Angeles Times