Temple Emanuel is blessed with a population that spans the generations. Our newest members are just being born. Our most senior members are in their 90’s. We even have several members who are over 100! Life cycle events are part of the fabric of our congregation.
On the eighth day of life we celebrate the Brit Milah (the ritual circumcision) of the boys born into our community. This ceremony goes back to Abraham. God commanded that all Jewish children enter into the covenant on the eighth day. Boys also receive a Hebrew name on this joyous occasion.
We are an egalitarian congregation. When girls are born we welcome them into Jewish life with a special naming ceremony, most often done at Shabbat Services on Friday night.
We officially welcome our young students in the community of learning at our Consecration ceremony. This takes place when the children are in kindergarten and during our Simchat Torah celebration. Our students are called to the bimah to recite the Shema and to lead the congregation in song. We ask God’s blessing upon them and we present them with a miniature Torah.
Bar and Bat Mitzvah
Our young people affirm their connection to Judaism by becoming Bar and Bat Mitzvah. Boys become Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13. Girls can become Bat Mitzvah at the age of 12. These ages are the ages of religious maturity for our young people. At these ages they are responsible for living by the commandments that define our people.
Our Bar and Bat Mitzvah students conduct Shabbat morning worship. They read from the Torah and they chant a portion from the Haftarah (the prophetic reading for the week). Our students also deliver a d’var Torah and they write a prayer giving thanks for their blessings
For our young people the Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremony is a highlight of either their sixth or seventh grade year. Most of our students prepare for nine or ten months for this celebration. Confirmation-When our students complete the 10th grade we celebrate the occasion with Confirmation. This ceremony allows our students to confirm their commitment to Jewish life three or four years after becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah. The students conduct the service, read from the Torah, and write an essay on what Judaism means to them.
Many brides and groom enter into the sacred bonds of marriage under the chuppah here at Temple. Our sanctuary is a beautiful setting for a Jewish wedding. Rabbi Schadick often officiates at weddings at locations away from Temple Emanuel. Our rabbi is very happy to officiate at interfaith weddings if the couple is committed to raising their children Jewish and to being part of our community.