Community You Can Believe In

New Baby: Brit Milah & Baby Naming

Welcoming Your New Baby

Your Baby Boy: A Brit Milah

Brit Milah literally means "covenant of circumcision." It is a symbol of the everlasting covenant between God and the Jewish people, as stated by God to Abraham (Genesis, 17:10): This is My covenant which you are to keep, between Me and you and your seed after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, so that it may serve as a sign of the covenant between Me and you.

When does the Brit Milah happen?

The Brit Milah is performed on the eighth day after the birth of a male child (it can be postponed for health reasons). In calculating the date, remember that the Jewish “day” starts at sundown; for example, a child born on Monday after sundown would have a Brit Milah on the following Tuesday. 

How do I arrange a Brit Milah?

To arrange a Brit Milah, contact the Temple office and ask to speak to our rabbis. The rabbi will meet with the family, either in person or by phone, to discuss the details of the ceremony, which can take place at the synagogue or at home. 

We have a list of approved mohalim (individuals trained to perform circumcisions). We also ask you to fill out a special form to make sure both the rabbi and the mohel have the information they need. Please return the form to the rabbi, who will work with you to set a time for the ceremony.

Celebrations for Interfaith Families

If the child is born to a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother who are committed to raising their child in the Jewish tradition, Brit Milah can take place on the eighth day with the intention of converting the child at the mikveh (ritual bath) at approximately three months of age. If the child is born to a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father, Brit Milah takes place on the eighth day and no conversion is necessary. In both of these cases the non-Jewish parent, grandparents and relatives are welcome to participate in the ceremony. Please consult with our rabbis for details.
 
If the child will not be converted, but Jewish grandparents wish to offer him a private ceremony of welcome into the Jewish people, please contact our rabbis.
 
For what to expect at a bris, check out this article.
 
For more information, please call our Executive Director at (860) 233-9696.
 

 

Your Baby Girl: A Simchat Bat

Traditionally, the birth of a baby girl is celebrated in a Simchat Bat, which means “rejoicing in a daughter.” Most often, the parents of the child receive an aliyah (Torah honor) in the synagogue on a Shabbat morning; the ceremony can also take place when the Torah is read on a Monday, Thursday or Rosh Chodesh (new month). A more intimate baby naming ceremony at the synagogue or in your home is also an option. This is called a Simchat Bat, which means "rejoicing in a daughter."

How Do I Arrange a Simchat Bat?

To arrange a baby naming, contact the Temple office and ask to speak to our rabbis. The rabbi will meet with the family, either in person or by phone, to discuss the details of the baby naming. You will be asked to fill out an informational form and the rabbi will coordinate with you to set a time.

Celebrations for Interfaith Families

If the child is born to a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother who are committed to raising their child in the Jewish tradition, the family should wait to schedule a baby naming until the child is converted at the mikveh (ritual bath) any time after three months of age. If the child is born to a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father, the baby naming can take place at any time and no conversion is necessary. In both of these cases the non-Jewish parent, grandparents and relatives are welcome to participate in the ceremony. Please consult with our rabbis for details.

If the child will not be converted, but Jewish grandparents wish to offer her a private ceremony of welcome into the Jewish people, please contact our rabbis.

For what to expect at a baby naming, check out this article.

For more information, or to arrange a Kiddush in celebration of the baby naming, please call our Executive Director at (860) 233-9696.

Forms:

Baby Naming Form