Welcoming children – whether new born or newly adopted at any age - is one of the great joys of the congregation. Traditionally, Jewish boys are circumcised and given a name on the eighth day after they're born. This ceremony is called brit milah, the covenant of circumcision. (The Reform movement certifies doctors and nurse midwives as Reform mohelim, ritual circumcisors; please contact the Beth El office for a referral.) At Beth El, we encourage parents to welcome their daughters and give them a name on the eight day as well. The ceremony for girls is called brit chaim, the covenant of life.
Holding the ceremony immediately after the arrival of the child is not always possible or appropriate; a Jewish naming ceremony can be held at any time. Depending on family circumstances, children and grandchildren are named and blessed at a Shabbat service in the presence of the congregation or at home. Please contact Rabbi Kahn via the synagogue office to discuss or schedule a naming ceremony.