"For everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven." (Ecclesiastes)
Beth Tikvah is your spiritual home when the time comes to celebrate your family’s simchas or when you need to reach out for guidance and support during times of need. Our Rabbi and staff are honored to be of service to you.
The tabs located in the column to the left will provide information about the various Jewish life cycle events conducted at Beth Tikvah.
Our Rabbi and staff are pleased to be able to join with you in the planning of a life cycle event. Please call the rabbi or Temple Administrator with any specific questions you may have to plan yours.
Birth is an exciting time in a family’s life and Beth Tikvah is happy to help you celebrate such a special simcha. Our rabbi can assist expectant or new parents in choosing a Hebrew name and guide you through the ritual decision that best suits you.
Brit Milah – Covenant of Circumcision for boys
The Brit Milah (“covenant of circumcision”) refers to the religious ritual through which male babies are formally welcomed into the Jewish people. The ceremony is celebrated on the eighth day after birth. The Bris may be held at home or, at Beth Tikvah for members of the congregation. It is usually held during the morning or daylight hours. The circumcision is performed by a mohel who is trained in the surgical procedures of Brit Milah. Our rabbi will also be happy to recommend a mohel for your ceremony.
Simchat Bat – Welcoming ceremony for girls
At Beth Tikvah it is also customary to welcome girls into the community by giving them a Hebrew name. Members can choose to have a baby naming on Friday night during Shabbat services or by having a ceremony in the home. The ceremony during Shabbat services includes the entire family being called to the bima in front of the open ark and receiving a blessing in addition to the giving of a Hebrew name. These ceremonies are planned with the rabbi. If the ceremony is held at the temple, the family often honors their new daughter by providing the bima flowers or oneg for shabbat.
At Beth Tikvah, Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a voluntary commitment, but a significant one for both students and their families. In order to make that important decision, the student and his/her family should consider that B'nai Mitzvah is a covenant that includes the student, parents, and congregation.
Becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a serious but wonderful experience that should inspire and excite students about their heritage and their future. It is an affirmation of one's Jewish knowledge and maturity with a great sense of being part of something much bigger than themselves, and often leads the student to advanced study. Also during the year of final preparation students and their parents often uncover new views of each other as they work in unison for the special day.
In order to facilitate this understanding, our congregation's Rabbi, Ritual Committee, Education Director and Board of Trustees have determined that, in order to be eligible for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony, a student must have completed certain educational and religious requirements, which are outlined in the B'nai Mitzvah Handbook. All students must be registered and attending the Beth Tikvah Religious School program. The Bar or Bat Mitzvah service is celebrated around the child’s 13th birthday and is scheduled by the Ritual Committee and Rabbi at least 18 months in advance. The ceremony takes place at Beth Tikvah during Saturday morning Shabbat services at 10:30 AM.
Confirming One’s Commitment to Jewish Life
Confirmation is a beautiful and inspiring ceremony. It is a rite in which our young adult students confirm the concepts and principles of the Jewish way of life and their acceptance of Torah.
During the 10th grade year, our students spend time learning with our rabbi and Confirmation teacher. Students discuss and debate sophisticated matters including: social justice, ethics, relationships and God/Theology.
The highlight of the confirmation year is marked by a trip to the Religious Action Center in Washington D.C. We participate in the L’takein (To repair) seminar and spend our weekend learning about Social justice issues facing our nation. We also go to Capitol Hill and lobby our senators and representatives.
Conversion to Judaism is a challenging and powerful process. The decision to convert is important and can only be made by that individual. We welcome all who seek spiritual meaning and connection in their lives to explore the gifts that a Jewish life has to offer.
We periodically hold introductory Judaism classes at Beth Tikvah. In order to become a Jew by Choice, our rabbi requires you to take an Introduction to Judaism course or take an appropriate course of Jewish study and meet with him on an ongoing basis throughout the process.
It is best to contact the rabbi directly and schedule a time to meet and discuss the process.
Mazel Tov on your engagement - or that of your child - and the upcoming wedding!
Our rabbi is honored to officiate at wedding ceremonies for members, their children, or couples wishing to join Beth Tikvah. Prior to setting a date, it is best to contact the rabbi to assure availability. The rabbi is not available to officiate on Shabbat, during High Holy Days, or other major festivals as Jewish tradition does not permit weddings to take place on these sacred days.
One of the steps prior to the actual wedding ceremony includes counseling with the rabbi to insure the couple has the basis for a successful marriage. This conversation will include discussion about the couple’s future life together and some of the challenges that will be faced together.
Couples who schedule wedding ceremonies at Beth Tikvah have available the use of our beautiful chuppah. The Rabbi is also available to officiate at weddings held at other venues. Please contact the rabbi for additional information on weddings.
At Beth Tikvah the inclusion of same-gender couples is celebrated in our modern Jewish community, and the rabbi is always pleased to officiate at commitment ceremonies for same-gender couples of the Jewish faith.
When a loved one is ill, terminally or temporarily, it’s a difficult time in for all family members involved. Our rabbi can serve as a source of comfort and support.
Our rabbi visits those who are homebound or in area hospitals in order to provide comfort, to visit, and to offer prayers for Beth Tikvah members who are hospitalized. Because of medical privacy laws, however, our rabbi is not informed by hospitals when someone is a patient there. We therefore encourage family members and friends, or even patients themselves, to contact our rabbi to inform us of a Beth Tikvah member who is ill, so that our rabbi may visit that person.
In addition, our Caring Community and Mitzvah Corps committees have numerous ways of helping families in need during difficult times. Please contact our temple administrator or rabbi for information. All calls are kept confidential.
Beth Tikvah families receive support that recognizes the sanctity and dignity of human life in all its stages. We uphold the importance of belonging to the Jewish community by supporting you when you have lost a loved one. When a life nears its end, our Rabbi consoles and guides the ill, the aged, and their loved ones.
If you have a loved one who is ill, please contact us so that our Rabbi can visit and offer warmth and support in the face of difficult life challenges. To those nearing death and their loved ones, our Rabbi provides comfort and can offer spiritual guidance for difficult end-of-life decisions.
Upon losing a loved one, it is important to call the funeral home where the burial will take place. They will help you arrange many of the details. Our rabbi is honored to officiate at funerals or memorial services. It is important to contact the temple so that you may consult with the Rabbi about setting a time for the funeral and burial. Our rabbi will meet with members of the family prior to the funeral services.
Beth Tikvah shares property with Temple Beth Shalom at the historic Greenlawn Cemetery. Plots are available through Greenlawn Cemetery to members in good standing. Please contact Beth Tikvah for additional details.
It is customary to observe the period of shiva. This is the first seven days following the loss of a loved one. The family may request to hold a minyan (prayer service) at their home during this time. The officiating rabbi will help make these arrangements with you. The Shiva minyan serves as a way to help the mourner gradually find wholeness. In modern times, Jews have adapted this observance to include an option for observing Shiva for three days. Please consult with the rabbi to determine what practice is most appropriate for your family.
An unveiling is the placement of a marker or gravestone at the place of burial. This takes place close to 11 months after burial. Arrangements can be made to observe this occasion at other times. Our Rabbi is honored to participate in an unveiling ceremony when requested. Some members choose to have an intimate gathering and lead this service themselves and the Rabbi is happy to assist you and guide you in this process.
Each year, on the anniversary of their death, we read aloud the names of our member’s loved ones who have passed. If you have not provided that information to the Temple, please do so, so that we might help you to honor a loved one's memory in this meaningful traditional manner.
In addition to observing a yahrzeit, we have a memorial scroll that is displayed on the wall in the sanctuary. For a small fee, you may have your loved ones’ name inscribed by world renowned calligrapher, Ann Woods. Calligraphy is done twice a year and additional information can be obtained from the Rabbi or temple administrator.
Yizkor - We Remember
The Yizkor service is observed four times throughout the year, during Yom Kippur, at the conclusion of Sukkot, at the conclusion of Passover and on Shavuot. During this service, those who have lost a loved one at any point in their lives may come to recite the Yizkor prayer.
Brit Milah/Brit Bat
End of Life