Brit Milah (Bris):The Covenant of Circumcision is held on the eighth day of a baby boy’s life. Our rabbi can assist families in finding amohel(person trained in performing circumcisions) and with the ceremony.
Baby naming:We welcome babies into the covenant of the people Israel and give them a Hebrew name in ceremonies held at home or in the synagogue.
Consecration:This ceremony welcomes our newest students into our Religious School. Held on the festival Simchat Torah, children beginning their studies in our school are called to the bimah(pulpit) and receive a certificate and a miniature Torah scroll. We celebrate this moment in community with the hope that children continue to engage in Jewish learning throughout their lives.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah:At the age of 13, Jewish children become Bar– (for a boy) or Bat– (for a girl) Mitzvah and are now of the age when they can take responsibility for performance of mitzvot– commandments or Jewish obligations. We celebrate their coming-of-age within the Shabbat morning service. The bar/bat mitzvah helps conduct the service and is called up to the Torah for the first time.
Formal bar and bat mitzvahpreparation begins one year prior to the ceremony. It is our goal to focus on Jewish values and make both the study and ceremony meaningful for the students and their families. Students attend weekly tutoring sessions where they learn to chant their Torahand Haftarahportions, as well as practice the prayers they will lead in the service. Independent practice outside of weekly tutoring sessions is expected and necessary. Students and families are encouraged to engage in a mitzvahproject to benefit a worthy cause which is meaningful to the Bar/Bat Mitzvahstudent. In addition, the rabbi helps students prepare a d’var torah(a speech explaining and interpreting the Torahportion). During this year, we hope each family will explore basic principles and traditions of Judaism at home, within the Shir Tikvah community and the greater Jewish community.
Confirmation:This ceremony at the end of 10th grade marks the students’ affirmation of their Jewish beliefs and practices. It usually takes place on or near Shavuot, the festival commemorating the giving of Torah at Mount Sinai. The Confirmation Class conducts the service and shares their interpretations of some aspect of Judaism and Jewish learning.
Marriage:We rejoice with happy couples and seek to help them establish Jewish homes. Many couples like to have an aufruf – a pre-nuptial blessing in the synagogue on a Shabbat prior to their wedding.
Death:When there is a loss in our congregational family, we respond as a community. Some of our members choose to hold a funeral service at the synagogue, while others prefer a funeral chapel or graveside service. Shir Tikvah members can take advantage of a funeral plan through Chicago Jewish Funerals.