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prayer

Lifecycle Events

Congregation B’nai Israel is a place to celebrate life and lifecycle events.

A brief description of some of the beautiful Jewish rituals can be found below. Please feel free to contact us to discuss incorporating these rituals into your life.  Our Executive Director, Emilie Kovit-Meyer, can be reached by phone or email at 732-842-1800 x203 or emilie.kovit-meyer@cbirumson.org

 

 

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Aufruf


In the weeks preceding a wedding ceremony, a couple is honored during a Shabbat service with an aliyah to the Torah, during which they are blessed by family, friends and the congregation as they celebrate this joyous occasion together.

 

 

Wedding


The officiating clergy guides the couple as together they craft a meaningful, personal wedding ceremony that reflects both Jewish tradition and the couple’s personality.  The clergy also helps prepare the couple not only for the wedding day, but for the marriage beyond by counseling the couple on preparing to build a Jewish life and Jewish home together.

 

 

Funeral & Unveiling

 

In addition to providing care and support to mourners during their difficult time of loss, our clergy are available to officiate at funerals and unveilings for our synagogue members and their families, and to assist in navigating the rituals and traditions of Jewish mourning practices in the days that follow.

 

 

Brit Milah and Baby Naming

 

These ceremonies celebrate the personal joy a family experiences when welcoming anew baby into their lives as well as the communal joy we all feel as a new child is welcomed into the covenant of the Jewish people. When a brit milah or brit bat takes place, the child’s Hebrew name is formally announced and given. There are many traditions governing the naming of Jewish children, including using biblical names, names popular in modern Israel, and names associated with a holiday or Torah reading near the child’s birth.


The Jewish ritualizing of birth is nearly as old as Judaism itself. Brit milah (covenantal circumcision ceremony) is first mentioned–indeed, commanded–in the Torah, as a sign of the covenant and, perhaps, as a covenant unto itself. In recent years, rituals have been developed to acknowledge the birth of both boys and girls, focusing on the elements of covenant and naming.

 

 

Conversion

 

If you are interested in conversion, we welcome you and invite you to learn and pray with us at CBI. Interested individuals are invited to contact us.

 

 

B’nai Mitzvah

Bar Mitzvah/Bat Mitzvah

 

Many people are surprised to find out that “becoming bar/bat mitzvah” happens automatically when a Jewish boy reaches the age of 13 or when a Jewish girl reaches 12. The ceremony that has become one of the most familiar Jewish rites of passages is actually a rather recent addition in the context of Jewish ritual history. 


The significance of this life-changing moment lays in the child’s new stage of physical, intellectual, and moral development. The term bar/bat mitzvah–which means “obligated to perform the Jewish mitzvot (commandments)”–reflects the child’s newfound capabilities and responsibilities. The year of intensive preparation that precedes the bar/bat mitzvah ceremony itself helps ensure a transformative experience for the b’nei mitzvah and their families.  Concepts such as tzedakah (financial justice) and gemilut chasadim (acts of loving kindness) are discussed and infused into the b’nei mitzvah process by way of a mitzvah project.  This project encourages students to participate in acts of social justice, thereby connecting the idea of Bar/Bat Mitzvah with action in the world.


Students will begin b'nai mitzvah training with learning prayers from the Shabbat morning service, as well as how to chant their Torah and Haftarah portions.  In the midst of this training, students will meet with the rabbi to delve into the meaning of their Torah portion and craft a d’var Torah.