Congregation B’nai Israel is an extended family that celebrates together on joyous occasions and comforts one another in times of sadness.
Life cycle events draw us closer as a community and among the generations. Rabbi Spitz and our staff are available to help plan and officiate at Brit Milah and Baby Namings, B’nai Mitzvah, Weddings and Aufrufs, Funerals and Bereavements. We also help those interested in converting to Judaism find their path, and warmly welcome those who become a part of the Jewish people.
We welcome the our newborn sons into Judaism’s sacred covenant on the eight day of their new lives. Rabbi Spitz and the CBI office can put you in touch with a Mohel (ritual circumciser), help the parents create their ceremony, and co-officiate, along with the Mohel. Please contact the CBI office for more information.
Baby Naming/Simchat Bat
We celebrate together the blessing of a newborn daughter with a ceremony that brings her into the covenant, and confers upon her a Hebrew name. At Congregation B’nai Israel families bring the baby to synagogue on Shabbat for the naming celebration. Please contact the CBI office for more information.
Becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah signifies reaching the age of responsibility for observing mitzvot and becoming an active participant in the Jewish community. The ceremony that marks this life passage is a milestone not only for the family, but also for the entire community. At Congregation B’nai Israel it is our goal to help families create a communal ceremony for their child that is meaningful, memorable, and a spiritual gateway to greater Jewish connection for parents and children. To learn more about the Bar/Bat Mitzvah process and timeline please see our Bar & Bat Mitzvah Guide.
To prepare our children we offer:
- Sunday and after-school classes for children from kindergarten thru Bar/Bat Mitzvah age.
- Family Education workshops, increased for 6th and 7th graders and their parents, designed to enrich Jewish life through hands-on projects and tools for home celebration.
If you are interested in having your post Bar/Bat Mitzvah party at our facility, please see our Facility Rental page.
Rabbi Spitz can help prepare for this wonderful and joyous occasion by discussing with the bride and groom the meaning of the ceremony, from Ketubah (marriage document), to Kiddushin (engagement) to Huppah (marriage canopy) to Nissuin (marriage ceremony) to breaking the glass and helping personalize the ceremony. Rabbi Spitz also counsels the couple, offering Jewish wisdom in preparation for a life dedicated to love and companionship. We also encourage the bride a groom to be called for an celebratory Aliyah to the Torah as an Aufruf at Shabbat morning services prior to the wedding. Please contact Rabbi Spitz to arrange a meeting. Congregation B’nai Israel is happy to provide a spiritual setting for Jewish wedding ceremonies as well as our hall for receptions. Please see our Facility Rental page for more information.
Funeral / Bereavement / Shiva
Our tradition offers several powerful end of life rituals. Rabbi Spitz can meet with you to personalize a funeral ceremony, and help you understand and implement other meaningful Jewish mourning practices. CBI currently has cemetery plots available for purchase by members. We also have an active Chesed (Comfort) Committee to help with meals during mourning. Please contact Rabbi Spitz or contact the CBI office for more information.
Memorializing our family members is an important and honored tradition. Anyone who needs to say Kaddish is welcome at our Friday evening services, Saturday morning services, or Sunday morning minyan. Congregation B’nai Israel also maintains a list of the Yahrzeits of our members’ loved ones, and acknowledges those of the upcoming week in our weekly email, by announcement during Shabbat morning services, and in our booklet on Yom Kippur. We have a memorial wall with Yahrzeit plaques which can be purchased and engraved with your loved one’s Hebrew/English names and dates. The plaques are lit annually on the appropriate date of remembrance. To order please contact the CBI office. You may click here to purchase.
Sponsoring a Kiddush
Sponsoring a Kiddush luncheon in honor of a life cycle event is a mitzvah. Whether using our kitchen staff or bringing in an outside caterer, we can help you plan the meal. Please contact Carol Serber for more information.
Tree of Life
Commemorate a life-cycle event with an everlasting leaf on Congregation B’nai Israel’s Tree of Life. Each leaf is a $180 donation and is personally engraved with your own words of recognition. Click here to purchase.