Life Cycle celebrations and ceremonies are occasions to be together whether in joy or sorrow. From birth to death, our life experiences are enriched as we gather together in our community.
We are delighted to name our babies and children on the bimah in our beautiful sanctuary, to consecrate our little ones when they begin in our religious school, to welcome them as adults into our Jewish community as b'nai or b'not mitzvah as they reach age 13, and to celebrate our tenth graders' confirmation during Shavuot. We then cry with joy at their weddings in our sanctuary. And because death is an inevitable part of the life cycle, we have the New Mt. Sinai Cemetery.
We Are Here for You
Another aspect of community that enhances the quality of our lives is the care we can offer in times of joy and sadness. In order to best support you, we need to know when these important events are happening. Please help us be there for you by contacting the Rabbis' office about births, simchas (joyous occasions), illness and the loss of loved ones in your family.
Many celebrations such as weddings, commitment ceremonies, brit milah (circumcision), simchat bat (baby naming for a girl), and memorial services may be held at TI. A pre-scheduled meeting with our rabbis and executive director to discuss arrangements in advance is required.
To hold an event in our facility, please call our temple office at (314) 432-8050 to discuss availability. Or, request a room reservation online and we'll contact you!
If you or your loved one is having a special birthday, the Rabbis would be very happy to give you a birthday blessing! We celebrate all birthdays on the third Shabbat of each month.
Brit Milah & Simcha Bat (Baby Naming for Girls)
A naming ceremony for boys and girls can take place in the home or in the synagogue. It can occur as a private family celebration or it can be celebrated during a Shabbat service. Our Rabbis pride themselves on creating unique, special ceremonies for each family. Contact the Rabbis to discuss options.
In conjunction with our congregational celebration of Simchat Torah we are proud to consecrate all students who are beginning Religious School for the first time. At our Simchat Torah services, the rabbis will consecrate all kindergarten students, along with those in Grades 1-6 who are new to our Religious School. It is a beautiful way to celebrate the beginning of your child’s Religious School education. The students will be called to the Bimah for a blessing from the rabbis and will receive a special gift.
Students who are in good standing in our Religious School program and who have achieved the equivalent of three years of Hebrew proficiency are eligible to become Bar/Bat Mitzvah at Temple Israel. Students entering the fourth grade of Religious School should register for Hebrew instruction. At that time a date may be set on the congregational calendar for the celebration of Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Students may conduct the Shabbat morning service in its entirety or they may elect to read Torah and Haftarah only. The celebration of Bar/Bat Mitzvah takes place within the context of a regular Shabbat morning service. Adults who wish to become Bar/Bat Mitzvah will do so in the context of a Friday evening Shabbat service.
Temple Israel encourages all of our Religious School students to continue their studies at least through the Confirmation year (10th grade year). Confirmation is taught by the Rabbis, with elective educational opportunities taught by members of the community. The Confirmation year is an exploration of difficult and meaningful religious questions. The year culminates in a beautiful Confirmation service written by the members of the class.
Persons interested in choosing Judaism should make an appointment with one of the rabbis. A course of study will be laid out for that individual. There is no way to standardize how much time the process of study and experiencing Judaism will take before the candidate is ready for a conversion ceremony. Participation in the 18-week community-wide Introduction to Judaism program is typically a prerequisite for continuing on through conversion. Contact Rabbi Amy Feder at (314) 432-8050 for more information.
Mazel tov! Couples wishing to be married by a rabbi should contact one of the rabbis for an appointment. Our rabbis will meet privately and answer all questions.
Families wishing to celebrate significant wedding anniversaries should contact one of the rabbis. This celebration can take place in the synagogue or other appropriate locations.
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Funerals and Memorial Services
Temple members are encouraged to call the rabbis when there has been a death in the family. The rabbis will assist the family in making arrangements for the funeral or memorial service. The Gall Sanctuary and the May Chapel are available for funerals and memorial services of temple members only. Temple Israel is a member of the New Mt Sinai Cemetery Association. The oldest and most beautiful Jewish cemetery, the New Mt Sinai is our cemetery. Temple members are entitled to special rates for cemetery plots and spaces in the Mausoleum.
The Jewish tradition of yahrzheit (Yiddish meaning “the time (zeit) of year (yahr)”) to help us meet the crisis of bereavement. Every year, on the anniversary of the death, we consecrate a special day of remembrance of our loved one. This is usually on the anniversary according to the Hebrew calendar, but some people use the secular dates to mark yahrzeit. Many congregants choose to make a perpetual memorial donation to ensure that their name and/or the names of their loved ones will be will be remembered at their yartzheit every year and also will be maintained in the memory of the congregation via the temple's Memorial Book.