The Torah commands us to circumcise our newborn sons on the eighth day of their lives. This powerful ceremony celebrates new life, and also brings our sons into Judaism’s sacred covenant that God made with Abraham and Sarah continuing down to us this very day. Rabbi Komerofsky can put you in touch with a Mohel (ritual circumciser), help the parents understand the ceremony, and co-officiate, along with the Mohel.
Baby Naming/Brit Hayyim
We celebrate the great blessing of a newborn daughter with a ceremony that brings her into the covenant that God made with Abraham and Sarah, and confers upon her a Hebrew name. Rabbi Komerofsky can help you think through and design this ceremony, which can take place either at home, at the synagogue, or on at a Shabbat at services.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah students are moving from childhood to adulthood, from learning to be responsible to being responsible Jewish adults. As son or daughter of the commandments, a bar/bat mitzvah commits him/herself to proud membership in our ancient people. Please contact Rabbi Komerofsky with questions or to schedule a date and prepare for the ceremony.
Over 150 years ago, the Reform movement instituted the ceremony of Confirmation. At this time, for a number of reasons, bar mitzvah was not being observed in the Reform Jewish community and the leaders determined that a culminating activity should be held known as Confirmation. This celebration of the conclusion of the formal religious years was initially held in eighth grade, and then moved to ninth, and then to tenth where it is today. Confirmation is not a replacement for bar/t mitzvah, but a unique time for students to study with the rabbi, ask hard questions, and begin preparation for living a Jewish life. Though the ceremony is often held in connection with Shavuot, there are other options as well. Students at Temple Israel who celebrate a bar/t mitzvah are expected to continue their Jewish studies until Confirmation.
Rabbi Komerofsky can help you prepare for this wonderful, joyous occasion, by teaching 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. He will also counsel you, offering Jewish wisdom in preparation for a life dedicated to love and companionship. He will also work with you in designing the ceremony, providing our knowledge and experience.
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 Komerofsky will instruct you on these and other rituals. He can also perform the funeral ceremony, and help you understand and implement other meaningful Jewish mourning practices.