Life Cycle Events
The Torah commands us to circumcise our newborn sons on the eight day of their new lives. This powerful ceremony celebrates new life, and also brings our sons into Judaism’s sacred covenant. Rabbi Gruber can put you in touch with a Mohel (ritual circumciser), help the parents understand the ceremony, and co-officiate, along with the Mohel.
Baby Naming/Simchat Bat
We celebrate the great blessing of a newborn daughter with a ceremony that brings her into the covenant, and confers upon her a Hebrew name. Rabbi Gruber and Cantor Kohlbrenner can help you think through and design this ceremony, which can take place either at home, or at the synagogue, on a Shabbat, or any day the Torah is read (Monday, Thursday, Festivals, Rosh Chodesh).
Bar/Bat Mitzvah students are moving from childhood to adulthood, from learning to be responsible to being responsible. As son or daughter of the commandments, you commit yourself to be proud membership in our ancient people. Our B'nai Mitzvah celebrations are poignant, relevant and celebrated by the entire community. During the Bar/Bat Mitzvah service, the student will lead the congregation in prayer and read from the Torah and Haftarah. A student will become Bar/Bat Mitzvah upon completion of the requirements established by the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Committee, including a minimum of five years of religious school attendance, beginning in the third grade. He/she must be registered and in attendance in the religious school during the year in which he/she will become Bar/Bat Mitzvah. As part of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah it is expected that a student will continue his/her Jewish education through Confirmation and beyond. Please note that the clergy at Central Synagogue is experienced in working with families of children with special needs. As such, if the above criteria is not applicable, they will work with your family to create a meaningful celebration of this momentous milestone. Click here for a copy of our B'nai Mitzvah planning guide.
The confirmation ceremony was developed by the early Reform Jews as an affirmation of a young person's mature acceptance of the Jewish faith. The idea of this service was developed to encourage students to continue their Jewish education while helping them to create their own Jewish identity. Confirmation differs from the Bar/Bat Mitzvah service in that it is a group ceremony held on the festival of Shavuot. Students participate in the service by leading the congregation in prayer, reading Torah and sharing their own thoughts about Judaism. After confirmation, students are encouraged to continue their education through graduation in twelfth grade.
Rabbi Gruber can help you prepare for this wonderful, joyous occasion, by teaching bride and groom the meaning of the ceremony, from Ketubah (marriage document), to Kiddushin (Engagement) to Huppah (Marriage Canopy) to Nissuin (marriage ceremony) to breaking the glass. We also counsel you, offering Jewish wisdom in preparation for a life dedicated to love and companionship. We also work with you in designing the ceremony, providing our knowledge and experience.
Our tradition offers several powerful end of life rituals – Kriah (tearing of a garment), Levayah (funeral procession), Hesped (eulogy), Kevurah (burial) and Shivah (seven days of mourning). Rabbi Gruber can instruct you on these and other rituals. We can also perform the funeral ceremony, and help you understand and implement other meaningful Jewish mourning practices. Cemetery plots are available at a discounted price for Central Synagoue members. In addition, Rabbi Gruber, Cantor Kohlbrenner, as well as several other specially trained congregants, are available to lead Shivah Minyans, if needed during Shivah.
SPONSORING A KIDDUSH
Whether you are interested in sponsoring a basic Kiddush or a full Kiddush luncheon, our staff can assist you with all the preparations! Please contact our temple administrator at (516) 766-4300 for more information.