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Life Cycle

Brit Ceremonies: When we have a new addition to our families, we want to impart this message and mission to our children, little by little. In the Jewish community, that begins with a brit ceremony. Many of us are familiar with a brit milah (often just referred to as a bris) - the Covenant of
Circumcision for our sons. For our daughters, many people talk about a "baby naming."

Consecration: A ceremony in which we formally welcome our youngest students and those new to our congregation into our learning community. 

B'nai Mitzvah: B’nai Mitzvah is an important milestone in a family and young person’s life, usually at 13 years of age. It is in the public ritual that a child expresses how his or her learning and experiences have shaped the young Jew who they are becoming.

Confirmation: Our 10th graders learn in their last formal year of education at Congregation Etz Chaim and celebrate with the community upon the completion of this journey.




Shiva: (Hebrew for seven) is a seven day period of mourning beginning the evening of the burial. Reform Jews sometimes observe Shiva for fewer than seven nights. Having a Shiva minyan allows a community to support and comfort mourners.

Yahrzeit: Yiddish for anniversary of a death. Traditionally, Jews remember a loved one on the Hebrew anniversary (based on a lunar calendar) of death. Many in our community remember their loved ones on the Gregorian date. We will gladly read a name on whichever date you choose.

Yizkor: Traditionally, we light small yahrzeit candles and recite special prayers of Yizkor ("may God remember") on the evening prior to the last days of our Festivals -- Pesach (Passover), Shavuot and Sukkot -- and Yom Kippur. Morning services on these days and afternoon services on Yom Kippur include the Yizkor prayers.

Fri, July 12 2024 6 Tammuz 5784