Baby Naming/Brit

In Judaism, having children represents the first commandment in the Torah and the source of our greatest happiness. There are a variety of rich Jewish rituals to help mark this momentous occasion. "Brit" or "Bris" is the Hebrew word for "covenant," and marks the ritual that baby boys undergo to represent this age-old relationship with God and the Jewish People.   

"Brit Bat" is the symbolic ceremony of welcoming baby girls into the covenant through a variety of rich words and rituals. Both "Brit" and "Brit Bat" ceremonies include the giving of a Hebrew name, and represent a real simcha (happy occasion) for the entire community. These ceremonies can take place in the synagogue or home. Ideally, they can take place during Friday Evening Shabbat Services, when the rabbi can call the family up to the bima for a special blessing. Please contact Rabbi Natan with any questions or to set up a chat.

A photo shows a father, mother holding a baby and rabbi during a Brit Milah ceremony. A second photo shows the baby's grandmother placing him on the chair of Elijah.

Scenes from a Brit Milah at Beth Shalom.

Bar & Bat Mitzvah

As our students approach their 13th year, their Judaic studies intensify as they prepare to accept their role as Jewish adults in our synagogue community. On their special Shabbat, our Jewish teens have the opportunity to lead our Kabbalat Shabbat and Shacharit Shabbat Services, be called up for an aliyah, chant Torah and Haftarah, and give their impressions of the Torah portion during their D’var Torah. Many B’nai Mitzvah students also participate in a service project of their choosing.

BatBarMitzvah

Confirmation

Our Confirmation class is made up of both 9th and 10th graders. Confirmation classes are taught by our rabbi during Religious School. On Erev Shavuot, the 10th graders lead the Shavuot worship and are confirmed.

 

Weddings

The sacred bond between committed partners is a treasured cornerstone of our tradition. In addition to the wedding and ketubah ceremonies, Rabbi Natan meets with couples on many occasions prior to the wedding for counseling and conversations. In addition to helping prepare the couple, this allows for the most personalized and meaningful ceremony possible. Please contact Rabbi Natan to set up an initial consultation.

WeddingNatan

Conversion

Judaism has a long history of conversion, stretching back to the Bible itself. The Rabbis of the Talmud tell us that Moses’ father in law, Jethro the Midianite priest, converted to Judaism. Abraham and Sarah, the first Jews, were said to have converted many people to the new monotheistic religion.
 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is happy to meet with anyone who wants to know more about Judaism. Some may want to convert, some may not, others may not be sure. Those who do want to convert may end up with a regular schedule of meetings with the rabbi. These people are encouraged to attend services and adult studies at the synagogue.
 

Death and Mourning

Our community is a sacred and loving community both in times of happiness, as well as sadness. If someone is sick, the community is there to offer support. In the event of death or when it is expected, Rabbi Natan and others will be there to offer comfort and memorialize the passing. 

Judaism offers many rich traditions and rituals that allow the mourners to deal with loss and pain. In addition, our newly-formed Caring Committee (called Yachad, meaning "Together" in Hebrew) is always there in the event of a community need. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the Synagogue Administrator, Cathy, at (225) 924-6773. 
 

Yartzeits

When the synagogue office is provided with the yartzeit dates of deceased family members, the rabbi will mention the name prior to the recitation of Mourner’s Kaddish on the Shabbat preceeding the yartzeit. In addition, a special weekday ma’ariv minyan can be arranged for those wishing to observe the yartzeit of a family member on the precise Hebrew date.

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Reform Judaism - Jewish Life in Your Life

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