Lifecycle

Lifecycle

Baby Namings

When a new child is born into our community, she or he receives two names. One is the name that appears on the birth certificate. The second is a spiritual name that is given in a Jewish naming ceremony. If a girl is born or if a boy has a circumcision without a “brit milah” or “bris” ceremony, a family may elect to have a Jewish naming ceremony to which friends and family are often invited.

Our clergy would be honored to welcome your baby into the Jewish community whether or not you are already a part of the Temple Israel community. We will be happy to assist you in selecting a Hebrew/Jewish name for your child and can perform the ceremony at either our synagogue or your home. Give us a call so that we can wish you congratulations and a hearty Mazal Tov!

B’nei Mitzvah

At Temple Israel, the milestone of becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah is viewed as part of the continuum of Jewish life–not an endpoint in one’s education. We highlight our students’ growth from childhood towards maturity, yet emphasize their role in our greater Temple community. The path to becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah begins with Chavaya (Religious School). Temple Israel requires our Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidates to participate in religious school training for a minimum of three years. This is then coupled with performance of Mitzvot and a course of study in Torah and specific chanting skills, which are taught by our clergy staff. This training culminates in a communal celebration that is held during Shabbat worship.

Following Bar/Bat mitzvah, our students continue their religious education through Confirmation in the 10th grade and Graduation in the 12th. We are proud of our students and their interest in pursuing Jewish education with us through the end of High School.

Parents are encouraged to study alongside their children, not only for their children’s sake, but also for their own. This demonstration of interest in what our children learn provides much-needed support to each student, while giving each parent a greater appreciation of the meaning of this milestone.

If you have questions about the program, please email Rabbi Nichols.

Confirmation

Tenth grade students engage in an intensive study experience in preparation for celebrating their Confirmation. Confirmation class is taught by the clergy and focuses on theology, social justice, and Reform Judaism. The highlight of the year is a class trip to the Religious Action Center in Washington, D.C. to participate in a weekend retreat on social justice advocacy.

At the end of the year, confirmation students lead the congregation in worship and study at the Confirmation service on the festival of Shavuot. Students are also encouraged to visit Israel on a summer tour at the end of the Confirmation year.

High School Graduation

Students who continue their Chavaya (Religious School) studies through twelfth grade are honored in a graduation ceremony that takes place at a Friday evening Shabbat service. The graduating students create and lead the worship service, sharing their Jewish journeys with the congregation through speeches and readings.

Weddings

A wedding is the most beautiful and special time in the life of a couple. We at Temple Israel are always honored to be a part of such an important event. The clergy of Temple Israel are happy to guide you through the process from the moment of engagement through the breaking of the glass. We can council you on every aspect of your preparations for the wedding and life beyond. We work with each couple to ensure that their marriage is as wonderful as the ceremony itself. Please be in touch with the clergy so that we can help you.

Our sanctuary is a spectacular location for a wedding. With its stunning stained glass windows, high ceiling and intimate feel, the sanctuary only enhances what is already a magical moment. We also have options for full onsite catering and a wooded setting that makes for beautiful photos.

Adult B’nei Mitzvah

Temple Israel leads adult Hebrew students through a two-year journey that culminates in an adult B’nei Mitzvah experience. This program can bring fulfillment to any adult who was unable to celebrate their becoming bar or bat mitzvah at the age of thirteen. Through preparation for this life-cycle event, a class of learners study Hebrew, Torah, ritual and history with our rabbis and cantor. Students become adult B’nei Mitzvah in the presence of the community, with each student chanting Torah, giving a “d’var Torah” (literally a “Word of Torah”), and sharing with our congregation a story of the spiritual path that brought each celebrant to this milestone occasion.

Funerals

Synagogue membership is about having an extended family present to share in your joys as well as in your sorrow. It is comforting to know that Temple Israel will be there for you in your darkest of hours when a loved one passes away. For our members as well as some extended family, our clergy will guide you through your mourning process. They will meet with you, conduct the service (at the synagogue, memorial chapel, or graveside), help you at the burial, and join you at your house of mourning. If you need help in selecting a cemetery or a funeral home, we are here for you.