Temple Israel encourages its members to mark the significant milestones of their life journeys in the synagogue, and in the company of fellow congregants.
• We offer the synagogue as a venue for our sons’ Brith Milah (ritual circumcision) ceremonies and for our daughters’ Baby Naming services. The Rabbi works with parents to personalize each of those events.
• The Rabbi and qualified Jewish Educators jointly train our children, aged thirteen and up, for bar and bat mitzvah. Their philosophy is to train not only the voice, but the entire student: head, hands, heart and soul. Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a giant step towards adulthood, and in Temple Israel, training for that milestone is designed to help our young men and women function as confident and committed Jews, both on and off the pulpit.
• We offer Jewish couples contemplating marriage a variety of venues, both larger and more intimate, for their wedding. The Rabbi meets with them to guide them through the choices facing them and to help them launch their marriage with both authenticity and innovative freedom.
• There are many milestones other than the conventionally celebrated ones. High school graduation, inter-session return from college, successful completion of a military deployment, significant birthday or wedding anniversary, retirement from work and to continued growth– all of these are moments we consecrate and celebrate in our sanctuary. Affixing the mezuzah on a new home, making a kitchen kosher for the first time, helping our young adult children to accomplish these goals– we are also alert to opportunities to celebrate, as a religious community, in our members’ homes, as well as in our sanctuary.
• Life’s journey includes moments of bereavement. Our congregation is an extended family in many ways, and we support each other in sickness and grief, no less than in moments of celebration. Our members volunteer for committees to perform bikkur cholim, visiting the sick and our shut-ins. Our daily minyan is a place of support and healing for those going through the stages of mourning. In sum, we care for each other.