Life Cycle

In Jewish community, no one rejoices or mourns alone.

In Jewish community, no one rejoices or mourns alone. Both celebrations and experiences of loss are opportunities for the DJC family to gather together, sharing in important life stages with one another supported by Jewish traditions.

Our spiritual leaders are uniquely skilled at working with individuals and families so that the rituals of life cycle moments are meaningful, filled with beauty, and reflect the distinct people involved. In the process, our members are actively engaged in learning about prayers and rituals, and connecting to Jewish practice.

Below are life cycle events traditionally marked through Jewish customs and practices. Creative new rituals are being incorporated into Jewish life to mark significant milestones and transitions. These can include a coming-out ceremony, the beginning of menses, menopause, and healing from trauma.

Bris/Brit Milah & Simchat Bat

The arrival of a new baby is cause for great celebration and joy. At the DJC, we bring special warmth and care to helping families welcome their children into the circle of Jewish community.

Traditionally, on the eighth day of a Jewish baby boy’s life he is welcomed into the Jewish community through the ritual of brit milah, also known as a bris (the sign of the covenant/ circumcision). This is also when a Jewish boy is traditionally given his Hebrew name.

The ritual for welcoming baby girls into the covenant and community is known as a simchat bat (rejoicing for a daughter), when she also receives her Hebrew name.  Creative contemporary rituals mark this significant and joyous moment. Some families choose to have an intimate gathering for the brit milah and to hold a communal simchat ben (rejoicing for a son) celebration.

Parents are also encouraged to be called to the Torah for an aliyah with a new baby during Shabbat morning service. The baby is blessed and the entire DJC community welcomes this young one into our midst.

As these Jewish rituals grow and evolve, we’re delighted to explore the possibilities with you.

Planning a Bris or Simchat Bat? Our rabbi is available to officiate and is happy to recommend the right mohel (male) or mohelet (female) to perform your son’s bris, including those who are sensitive to the needs of same-sex, interfaith, or intercultural families.

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