Life Cycle Events

Brit Milah

The Torah commands us to circumcise our newborn sons on the eighth day of their new lives. This powerful ceremony celebrates new life, and also brings our sons into Judaism’s sacred covenant. Our clergy can put you in touch with a Mohel (ritual circumciser), help the parents understand the ceremony, and co-officiate with the Mohel.

Baby Naming/Simchat Bat

We celebrate the great blessing of a newborn daughter with a ceremony that brings her into the covenant, and confers upon her a Hebrew name. Our clergy can help you think through and design this ceremony, which can take place either at home, or at the synagogue on a Shabbat, or any day the Torah is read (Monday, Thursday, Festivals, Rosh Chodesh).

Bar and Bat Mitzvot

Bar/Bat Mitzvah students are moving from childhood to adulthood, from learning to be responsible to being responsible. As a son or daughter of the commandments, you commit yourself to be proud membership in our ancient people.


Our clergy can help you prepare for this wonderful, joyous occasion, by teaching bride and groom the meaning of the ceremony, from Ketubah (marriage document) to Kiddushin (Engagement) to Chuppah (Marriage Canopy) to Nissuin (marriage ceremony) to breaking the glass. They also counsel you, offering Jewish wisdom in preparation for a life dedicated to love and companionship. Our clergy will work with you in designing a ceremony based on your desires and their knowledge and experience.

Funerals (see below the Temple B’nai Israel Guide to Jewish Funeral Practices)

Our tradition offers several powerful end of life rituals – Kriah (tearing of a garment), Tehara (ritual cleansing and dressing of the deceased), Levayah (funeral procession), Hesped (eulogy), Kevurah (burial) and Shivah (seven days of mourning). Our clergy will instruct you on these and other rituals. We can also perform the funeral service, and help you understand and implement other meaningful Jewish mourning practices.


Yahrzeit is the annual remembrance of a loved one’s death. A 24 hour candle is lit on the eve of the Yahrzeit and the name will be mentioned at our Shabbat service. For more information on Yahrzeit, the other memorial dates, and kaddish see this article: Yahrzeit, Yizkor and Kaddish