If you are expecting a child, we wish you Sha’ah tova (may it happen in good time)! There are many options for how to celebrate the arrival of your child in Jewish community. The rabbi(s) would like to meet with you at least once, ideally before the child is born, to discuss how to craft a ceremony that would be meaningful to you, so please contact the office as early as you can.
Recommended Options for Welcoming a Child
Baby naming/Bris on the 8th day:
Traditionally, baby boys are circumcised in a home ceremony on the eighth day of their lives (a week after they are born), unless medically contra-indicated. At the same time, the baby is named. In this community, we also recommend doing a baby naming for girls at home on the eighth day. Our rabbis are available to officiate at this ceremony, and the office can refer you to mohelim for the circumcision.
Baby welcoming at the synagogue:
Whether you choose the traditional option above, or one of the choices discussed below, we believe that every Jewish child should be celebrated by the Jewish community. We encourage you to contact the office and the rabbi to schedule a date (a few weeks after the birth, once the whole family has recovered) to do a formal welcoming at our Shabbat morning services. At the formal welcoming during the Torah service, the mother (if there is one) says a blessing of gratitude for surviving childbirth, and receives a blessing from the rabbi. The whole family (including older siblings!) comes up to be showered with blessings by the entire community, after the new baby’s name is announced.
What do I get from having a TBI rabbi officiate?
The rabbi will meet with you in advance of the birth to answer your questions not only about baby namings/bris, but to facilitate any conversations you want to have about raising a Jewish child. The rabbi will craft the naming ceremony to your preferences. On the day of the naming/bris, the rabbi will help make sure everyone in the room is calm and joyful. The rabbi will encourage the wider community to attend and participate at the communal welcoming described above, and will make a particular effort to introduce you to other young families in the community.
What if I want to have my son circumcised in the doctor’s office or hospital (possibly on a different day)?
The rabbis do not recommend this option, but Rabbi Yitz does officiate in these instances. Rabbi Ruhi Sophia does not officiate in these instances, but will still officiate a baby naming in the home on the eighth day for a baby who has been or will be medically circumcised at a different time.
What if I do not want to circumcise my son?
We still encourage you to do some kind of formal naming. There are experienced lay leaders in the community who are available to officiate in your home in this event , and Rabbi Ruhi Sophia still invites you to bring your baby in for the communal welcoming described above.
What if I want to do a naming for my daughter on a day other than the eighth day?
The rabbis do officiate in this instance. Rabbi Ruhi Sophia recommends a private home naming before the communal welcoming discussed above, for girls as well as boys.
At a regularly scheduled service:
Temple Member: None
Non Member: $200
At a non-scheduled service:
Temple Member: $150