It is a privilege and a source of great joy when we can celebrate the birth of a child in the congregation either with a brit milah (covenant of circumcision) or a baby naming. Either of these can be scheduled to take place on Shabbat in conjunction with the morning service, or at another time convenient for family members.
Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies are scheduled to take place either on Shabbat morning, on Shabbat afternoon, or on a Sunday when the Torah will be read. Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah celebrants are invited to chant kiddush (the blessing over wine which sanctifies the day) on the Friday night prior to the ceremony and to read from the Torah at a morning minyan either before or after the ceremony, depending on when the ceremony occurs.
The synagogue is a wonderful venue for wedding ceremonies. Couples who will be married in the synagogue or outside the synagogue are encouraged to have an auf ruf (that is to be called to the Torah for an honor and a blessing) in the weeks prior to the wedding ceremony.
Wedding anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions are also opportunities for individuals to receive an aliyah (Torah honor) and a blessing. All that is required is a call to the synagogue to schedule such an event.
When a death occurs, family members will often turn to the synagogue looking for guidance and support. Rabbi Wohlberg and Cantor Freedman consider it an honor to be able to help mourners through this difficult period. While in rare circumstances a funeral service will take place in the synagogue, it is more often the case that mourners will come to the synagogue in order to recite kaddish (the memorial prayer). Rabbi Wohlberg, Cantor Freedman and a cadre of capable service leaders are available to lead shivah minyanim (services during the initial week of mourning) in the homes of mourners.
Individuals who would like to have a prayer recited for a return to good health – either for themselves or for a loved one – are encouraged to speak with Rabbi Wohlberg or Cantor Freedman and to arrange for a blessing to be recited at the Torah or before the ark. Mi Sheberach l’Cholim (a prayer for the sick) is recited whenever the Torah is read as part of a service, as well as on other occasions as the need arises. A name can be added to the synagogue’s Mi Sheberach list by a simple call or email directed to either of the clergy or to anyone in the main office.