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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.