Lifecycle Events

Birth

Birth is celebrated by the naming of a child at a Shabbat service. Parents bring their child to the congregation so that the entire community may welcome and celebrate new life as blessings are said during the time of the reading of the Torah.

In the case of a boy, a Brit Milah ceremony traditionally takes place on the eighth day after his birth. This ceremony usually includes circumcision by a mohel. If the circumcision is performed in the hospital, an additional naming in the synagogue can mark the birth as a significant rite of passage.

Consecration

Consecration is the ceremony of welcome for the youngest students in our programs for Developing Jewish Identity and is celebrated on Simchat Torah. Each child is blessed and receives a small Torah and certificate to commemorate the beginning of the child’s Jewish learning to see the world through Jewish eyes.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Bar/Bat Mitzvah means “son or daughter of the commandment.” At the age of thirteen all Jews begin to assume the obligations and responsibilities of adulthood. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah service symbolizes a coming of age in our religion. It provides young people with the opportunity to fulfill publicly a mitzvah prohibited to them until this time: the mitzvah of reciting the blessing over the Torah. Learn more about CBY’s B’nai Mitzvah Program

Confirmation

Confirmation represents a high point in a young person’s development of Jewish Identity at our temple; it marks as well the beginning of life-long learning that is the hallmark of an educated Jewish adult. At Congregation B’nai Yisrael, Confirmation takes place at the conclusion of the tenth grade and is celebrated on Shavuot. The Confirmation is a group effort designed and executed by the class.

Marriage

Marriage is a precious ideal that Judaism encourages and supports. When a couple wants to be married, they meet with the Rabbi to discuss the implication of marital commitment and to plan the ceremony. The wedding is performed by the Rabbi or the Cantor and is considered one of the privileges of membership. Our Rabbi will assist non-members to find another Rabbi to perform the wedding ceremony.

Weddings may not be held on Shabbat, High Holy Days or the first and last days of festivals.

Conversion

Conversion is the process by which a non-Jew becomes a Jew. Under the direction of the clergy, a prospective convert studies the Jewish traditions, customs, institutions and people. When study is completed, the conversion ceremony takes place. The convert is accepted and welcomed as a Jew and given a Hebrew name.

Death

One is never emotionally prepared when death comes. When a death occurs, one of our clergy should be notified immediately so that he can make himself available to the family as soon as possible. In the event of a death, the Rabbis may be called at home. A Rabbi will help you set the funeral time and plan the service.

The family will need to confirm the time of the service with the funeral home. The funeral is performed by the Rabbi or the Cantor and is considered one of the privileges of membership. The funeral service may be held at the cemetery, the funeral home, in our sanctuary, or in the home.

Cemetery plots: Congregation B’nai Yisrael owns no cemetery plots. We recommend you consider the purchase of cemetery plots prior to need. You or your family will then have one less concern when faced with the emotional stress of bereavement.

Cremation: arrangements can be made when cremation is the family’s choice.

Unveiling: in the first year after burial, a stone bearing the name of the deceased is set on the burial place and unveiled in a brief service.

Mourning prayers: The Kaddish is a traditional prayer which affirms the majesty of The Eternal and the meaningfulness of life. It is customarily recited by the mourners. At Congregation B’nai Yisrael, the names of those we mourn are read before the Kaddish prayers on Shabbat services for four consecutive weeks following the funeral, and again on the anniversary (yahrzeit) of their deaths, when it is customary to attend services in respect for the memory of those who have died.

The reading of the name of a loved one is a privilege available to all members even if the funeral takes place elsewhere.

Please inform us of a death in your family so that we might have the opportunity to extend our sympathy to you and your family.

The Memorial (Yizkor) Service in memory of the dead is recited on Yom Kippur afternoon.