For everything there is a season, and a time to every experience under heaven…. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Temple Emanu-El is a family, not just a congregation and therefore events in the lives of our congregants are important. Whether it is the joy of marriage, a birth, a young person coming of age or a time of sadness like a death, it is our desire to be there for you. Sharing these times with you is what makes us strong and makes Emanu-El feel like a family. Our members and our clergy are there to accompany your family through life’s journeys. Our ancient traditions, especially when seen through a modern lens, can bring additional significance to these times and help us through periods of difficulty

A time to be born…

The birth of a child is truly a cause for celebration. It is also an important event in marking the entrance into covenant with God and the Jewish people. We celebrate and welcome new life during Shabbat Services where we can share this special occasion with our congregation.The parents and child/children are called to the Bimah to receive the prayers and blessings of our clergy and congregation and given their Hebrew name.  As part of this special part of the service, the parents are invited to read a letter they have written which may express their hopes and dreams for their baby, as well as tell them where their name came from and give them insight into the history and personality of the person they were named after. It is truly a heartwarming moment.

A time to build up….

Judaism teaches us that our children (banim) are in reality our builders (bonim). As a congregation, we mark important moments in our students’ lives in our sanctuary where we can celebrate these special moments with our congregational family.

Consecration - as part of joyful Simchat Torah services, celebrates the formal beginning of Religious School studies for students in third grade. B'nai Mitzvah - marks a child’s transition into adulthood. Students read from the Torah as well as a selection from the Prophets, help lead the service, and give a sermon. Confirmation -, in tenth grade, is held on Shavuot , the holiday on which we mark the giving of the Ten Commandments. Through their continued learning and participation in the service, our students demonstrate their commitment to Judaism and Jewish learning. Graduation - is marked for those students who have continued studying in our High School program through twelfth grade. Conversion - A person may choose to join the Jewish people for a number of reasons, but this decision is one that involves study and self examination. The Jewish life is one that is meant to be lived daily and by experiencing Jewish rituals, holidays and services “Jews by choice” can begin to meaningfully bring these practices and beliefs into their lives. Through these actions they also become a part of the fabric of the Jewish community at large.

A time for love....

A wedding is one of the most exciting and significant days in a couple’s life together. It is not only an outward expression of a couple’s love and a legally binding contract, but also a holy experience. When two people decide to affirm their commitment to one another, we all rejoice. Offering special blessings at a Shabbat service allows the whole congregation the opportunity to celebrate an upcoming wedding. Additionally, many couples choose to hold their wedding in the temple building.

A time for healing....

Please contact the Temple Office if a member of your family is ill. When possible, our clergy is available to visit and provide support both at home or in a healthcare facility. Prayers for healing ( Mi Shebeirach) are offered on Shabbat and Holidays, please let us know if you would like us to add a name to that list to be read aloud during the service

A time for weeping….

When a death separates us from a loved one, the sadness and grief can seem overwhelming. No one should have to go through life’s difficult times alone. Our desire is to be a support to families dealing with this process, by honoring their loved one while also consoling the family. Our desire is to assist the family with all the typical needs, funeral scheduling, and shiva arrangements. Our Minyan committee is always available to help wherever they are needed

UnveilingsIt has been customary since ancient days to mark a loved one’s grave with a stone. The unveiling ceremony usually takes place within the first year of a loved one’s passing. There is a brief ceremony at the cemetery where some Psalms are read, the loved one is remembered, the cloth is removed from the stone and the mourner’s Kaddish is read.

Yahrzeit, or anniversary of a loved one's passing, is a time to remember the person. At Temple Emanu-El, we observe the Yahrzeit of those who passed during that week in years gone by and for whom we are observing either shivah (first week) or sh'loshim (thirty days). Our yahrzeit list is read by the rabbi and names of others who may be on the list are elicited from the congregation. As names are called, those who have a special relationship to the deceased are invited to rise and at the conclusion of the reading of the yahrzeit list the entire congregation rises as well, as Kaddish is recited

Our caring staff is available to help you plan your lifecycle event. Please call the temple office at 973-992-5560 or e-mail rabbi@emanuel.org