There are few greater joys in life than becoming parents. At Congregation Beth Shalom, we cherish the opportunity to welcome newborns into our community.
One of the first responsibilities you have as a new parent is naming your child. There are several Jewish customs people tend to follow in selecting their child’s name.
Families who come from a Central or Eastern European origin (Ashkenazi heritage) typically name their children after a deceased loved one – a grandparent or great-grandparent who they, or their family members, admired and held in high esteem.
Families who come from a Middle-Eastern origin (Sephardic heritage) often name their children after a grandparent, either living or deceased.
Regardless of Ashkenazi or Sephardic custom, it is often thought that by naming your baby after a loved one, your newborn child will emulate his/her namesakes’ virtues.
Traditionally, Jewish boys have a Bris on the eighth day after they are born. The Bris not only serves as the ritual ceremony where a boy is circumcised, but also an opportunity to introduce your new arrival to friends and family members as a member of the Jewish community. The Bris is conducted by a mohel, a professional specially trained in performing circumcisions and the rituals surrounding the procedure.
While there are no formal procedures or rituals baby girls are obligated to have done, many families today hold a Simchat Bat to welcome their daughters into the Jewish community. We encourage our families to bring their baby girl to the Torah for a formal naming before the community within the first several weeks of life.
We look forward to welcoming your newest addition to the Beth Shalom community and watching your child grow, mature and flourish. Following birth, please contact the synagogue office and let us know how everyone is doing.
Some families adopt a child of non-Jewish birth. Our clergy are eager to help you arrange an infant (or young child) conversion to formalize your adoption and dedication to raising your child within the Jewish people.
For more information, we invite you to explore the books and other resources available in our synagogue library or schedule a time to meet with the rabbi.
We welcome interfaith families to participate in life cycle events. For more information, please speak to our clergy.
Please contact our Associate Director of Programming for details.