Brit Milah / Simchat Bat
We are elated to help welcome a new child into your family, the congregational family and the family of the Jewish people! We understand that every family is unique.
Meeting with you to understand what you need is the first step in creating a Jewish ritual to celebrate your new baby. Whether it is a brit milah (circumcision also known as a bris) or a simchat bat (baby naming for a girl) we would be happy to help celebrate with you, either in the synagogue at a Shabbat service, or in your home.
The rabbis teach that Torah was given down in fire, and in fire it is to be transmitted. During our B’nei Mitzvah Program we try to recapture the intensity of that fire, and to strive to understand what mes- sage the Torah has for us today. We teach our students to question, to wrestle, and to fall in love with Torah, finding their own voices among the rabbis of our tradition. The process of becoming a Bar/ Bat Mitzvah requires years of study and practice. Yet, Bar/Bat Mitzvah is an age, not an event. It is a status that you achieve by becoming thirteen. At Beth El we encourage our B’nei Mitzvah students to lead a service, study and teach Torah, and participate in a mitzvah project. Our hope is that through this process your entire family feels embraced by our temple community. It is a privilege and joy for our rabbis and tutors to be able to spend this private time with you, and to share in this life cycle event. May it be filled with blessings and love, a sense of accomplishment and pride, and a beginning to a lifelong engagement with Jewish learning.
After becoming a b’nai mitzvah, students continue their studies. In 10th grade students can choose to be part of our Confirmation class. Whereas the B’nai Mitzvah process is an individual one, the confirmation process is done in community with your entire class. Students reconfirm their commitment to a life of Jewish learning in their 10th-grade year of study with our rabbis culminating with our Confirmation class leading our community in our Erev Shavuot service. We take Confirmation very seriously…so seriously that our rabbi is the teachers. We accept the responsibility ourselves to help nurture Jewish meaning, connection, and continuity within this next generation.
Mazel Tov! Engaged? Thinking about it? Entering into marriage can be both exciting and overwhelming. To ease the process, and provide some answers, our rabbis would love to meet with you and talk about your future as a couple. We look forward to celebrating with you and we welcome all couples who seek connection with the Jewish community.
Taking on a new religious identity is one of the most profound steps in a person’s life. Our rabbis invite those interested in Judaism to participate in our Introduction to Judaism class and to speak directly with them. Choosing Judaism is a highly personal journey and not bound by a time frame. Our rabbi offers guides, studying and counseling with those who wish to be part of our faith and tradition. When a person is ready to formalize that relationship, our rabbi help fashion an appropriate ceremony to celebrate this new identity.
Grief & Mourning
Remembering those who have come before us is an important part of Jewish life. At the end of every Shabbat Service, we read the list of those people who died at that time in previous years (the anniversary or yahrzeit of their death) as well as those who recently died. Help us keep track of those you have loved and lost by providing their names and the dates of their death. Our rabbi would welcome any inquiry about mourning practices in Jewish tradition and we would be honored to help you commemorate the anniversary of your loved ones death.
Funerals & Memorial Services
If someone you love dies, we want to be there for you through what can be a very difficult time. Our rabbis are on call 24/7. It is never too early or too late to call when death touches your home. Whether it be helping to plan a funeral, or officiating at a memorial, they are there to assist you. It is a mitzvah (a commandment) to comfort the mourner and Judaism offers a number of rituals to help the mourner cope with grief. At Beth El we often have a short service at the home of the deceased, a minyan, shortly after the funeral. Food is also a comfort we can provide. We are here to help. Reach out to us so we can be there for you.
Information & Policies
While we would like all to be a part of our congregation and community, we recognize that circumstances and conditions do not always permit that to happen. To better serve both our members and others who have yet to become members, we offer clarification of life-cycle services, as well as costs associated for those not yet members. If there are further questions, please do not hesitate to call our office manager Elissa Feldman at 904-273-9100.