Life Cycle Events
Conversion, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Weddings and More
Conversion to Judaism is a path that requires both personal commitment and an extended period of study. Rabbi Barbara Goldman-Wartell welcomes those who would like to pursue the possibility of becoming a Jew-by-Choice.
The following are part of the process of preparing for conversion: “Introduction to Judaism” course; attending services; involvement in holiday celebrations; and meetings with the rabbi.
The Torah commands us to circumcise our newborn sons on the eight day of their new lives. This powerful ceremony celebrates new life, and also brings our sons into Judaism’s sacred covenant. Rabbi Barbara 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 /
We celebrate the great blessing of a newborn daughter with a ceremony that brings her into the covenant, and confers upon her a Hebrew name. Rabbi Barbara can help you think through and design this ceremony, which can take place either at home, or at the synagogue, on a Shabbat, or any day the Torah is read (Monday, Thursday, Festivals, Rosh Chodesh).
Our students become Bar/Bat Mitzvah at the age of 13 or in the 7th grade. Preparation includes learning about Judaism, its traditions, holidays, and history. Our students lead the Shabbat service and read from the Torah for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah service. Temple Concord has a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Guide available for parents. In addition to leading worship services and reading from the Torah, b’nai mitzvah students are required to do a mitzvah project.
The confirmation year, 10th grade, represents a special time of celebration and commitment. The year includes study with the rabbi, culminating in a special service, held during Shavuot since that holiday commemorates the receiving of the Torah by the Jewish people. The confirmation class at Temple Concord is for 10th graders and meets weekly. It follows two years of study in eighth and ninth grade in the Kollel program. The curriculum of the class is studying Jewish issues relevant in their own personal lives. In the last few years, Rabbi Barbara has taken each confirmation class to the Religious Action Center in Washington DC.
Rabbi Barbara can help you prepare for this wonderful, joyous occasion by teaching 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.
We also counsel you, offering Jewish wisdom in preparation for a life dedicated to love and companionship. We also work with you in designing the ceremony, providing our knowledge and experience.
Very often weddings are held in our Historic Kilmer Mansion with its own bridal area.
The Jewish traditions related to death and mourning are intended to recognize death as a part of life. The traditions of preparing the body, sitting shiva (a seven-day period of mourning immediately following a funeral), saying Kaddish (prayer for the dead) and observing the yahrzeit (anniversary of a death) guide Jews through a difficult period. These familiar customs and rituals provide for mourning, grief and re-emphasizing the true nature of life. Temple Concord has a Caring Community Committee which tries to attend to the needs of the family. This Committee also prepares the meal of consolation.