Our Clergy very much want to be a part of your significant lifecycle moments. Please speak with them before setting any dates or times for your event. 

Birth

baby naming ceremonyMazel Tov! You just welcomed a new baby into your family. Judaism celebrates this occasion with a baby naming. We celebrate your child’s naming at a Shabbat service or at your home. Baby naming at Shabbat services allows for our community to welcome and celebrate new life as blessings are said during the time of the reading of the Torah.

For baby boys, a Brit Milah (circumcision) ceremony traditionally takes place on the eighth day after his birth. If the circumcision is performed in the hospital, a naming can be arranged to mark this significant rite of passage. Contact our rabbis.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah

batmitzvah girlBar/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. It provides young people with the opportunity to fulfill publicly a mitzvah of reciting the blessing over the Torah. Preparation for Bar/Bat Mitzvah begins with a good foundation learned at our religious school. Contact our rabbis.

Marriage

Mazel Tov! Marriage is a precious ideal that Judaism encourages and supports. When a couple wants to be married, they meet with the Rabbi to discuss marital commitment and to plan the ceremony.
Rabbi Burstein or Rabbi Reiner will help you prepare for this wonderful, joyous occasion by teaching the wedding couple the meaning of the ceremony and its components, from Ketubah (marriage document), to Kiddushin (betrothal) to Chuppah (marriage canopy) to Nissuin (marriage ceremony) to breaking the glass.
They will collaborate with you to ensure the ceremony has special resonance for the wedding couple. In addition, they will offer their Jewish wisdom in preparation for a life dedicated to love and companionship.

Conversion

While Congregation Shir Shalom welcomes all types of families who wish to support our congregation and the Jewish community, conversion to Judaism may interest those who wish to formally join the Jewish people. This can unite families so that all can share in every ritual aspect of our heritage, Rabbi Burstein and Rabbi Reiner are available to speak with you about the process of converting to Judaism and the steps necessary to officially become Jewish. Please feel free to contact them to learn more about this meaningful and fulfilling personal and spiritual journey.

Death and Mourning

One is never emotionally prepared when death comes. When a death occurs, one of our clergy should be notified immediately so they can make themselves available to the family as soon as possible. In the event of a death, the Rabbis may be called at home. Our Rabbis will help you set the funeral time and plan the memorial service.
Our tradition offers several powerful end of life rituals: Kriah (tearing of a garment), Levayah (funeral procession), Hesped (eulogy), Kevurah (burial) and Shivah (seven days of mourning). Rabbi Burstein or Rabbi Reiner will instruct you on these and other rituals. They can also perform the funeral service and help you understand and implement other meaningful Jewish mourning practices.

The funeral service may be held at the cemetery, the funeral home, in our sanctuary, or in the home.

The Mourners' Prayer
The Kaddish is a traditional prayer that affirms the majesty of The Eternal and the meaningfulness of life. It is customarily recited by the mourners at the funeral service and Shiva services. The names of those we mourn are also read before the Kaddish prayers at Shabbat services for four consecutive weeks following the funeral (the period of Shloshim), 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.

Click here to hear the recitation of the Mourner's Prayer or Kaddish Yatom - See the text of the prayer

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.