You have just welcomed a new member into your family! Bringing a new child into the world is a most awesome experience. There is nothing quite like holding your little one for the first time.
The Talmud states that there are three partners in the creation of a child: the father the mother and G-d, each contributing another element to the child’s being. Judaism places much importance on the formative years of a child to ensure that the child’s Jewish identity is cultivated and nourished.
For a boy, this begins with the Brit (circumcision) when the child is eight days old. Brit means covenant and is symbolic of the eternal connection we as Jews have with almighty G-d. As soon as a baby boy is born a Mohel (a Rabbi trained in the practice of circumcision) must be contacted to arrange for the Brit to take place.
Because the child’s health and wellbeing are paramount the Mohel will examine the baby and see whether the child is able to have a Brit at the proper time. The Mohel or doctor may at times delay the Brit until the child is healthy and able to be circumcised.
Some have a tradition to name children after family members who have passed on while others choose to name a child after a righteous individual.
You may choose to give a child a name that relates to the child’s circumstances or your aspirations for the child. Our sages tell us that parents are endowed with divine inspiration when choosing a name for their child.
The naming of a boy takes place at the circumcision. Make sure you have the new name prepared as well the Hebrew names of both parents.
A baby girl is named at the reading of the Torah in the synagogue which is read on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat. It is customary for the child to be named at the first opportunity. When naming the child please ensure that you have the new name prepared.
In addition please have prepared the Hebrew names of both parents as well as the maternal grandmother’s name so that prayer can be recited for the health of the new mother.
Click here for a list of Jewish names and their meanings.
A child's third birthday signals a major transition in his or her education. For the first three years of life, a child absorbs the surrounding sights and sounds and the parents' loving care. The child is a receiver, not yet ready to give. At the age of three, children's education takes a leap - they are now ready to produce and share their unique gifts.
For a Jewish boy, this transition is marked with a ceremony. It is an age-old custom to allow a boy's hair to grow untouched until he's three years old. On his third Jewish Birthday his friends are invited to a haircutting ceremony—an Opsherin in Yiddish, called a Chalakeh by Sephardic Jews. The child's peyot (biblically mandated side-locks) are left intact; the initiation into his first mitzvah.
The world now begins to benefit from the Torah study and mitzvot of this young child. From this point on, a child is taught to wear a kipah and tzitzit, and is slowly trained to recite blessings and the Shema. The world now begins to benefit from the Torah study and mitzvot of this young child.
Click here for more information
The Bar Mitzvah is not only a party; more importantly, it’s a time of growth.
When a boy turns thirteen he assumes all the obligations of a Jewish adult. He may not be allowed to drive a car, but by Jewish standards, he is a man nonetheless. Judaism views entry into adulthood as a period in which a child learns the meaning of responsibility: recognizing and maximizing your potential.
The Bar Mitzvah is a time to learn about the meaning and relevance of Torah and Mitzvot in our daily lives. More importantly, it’s a time to bring this meaning into practice, by committing oneself to G-d his Torah, and his people.
Our Bar Mitzvah program, led by Rabbi Eliyahu Sasson, who prepares the boys for this all-important day by studying the significance of what it means to be a Jewish adult.
A Bar Mitzvah at Great Park is a meaningful time of growth. After the Shul services, family and friends join together at the Kiddush offering good wishes to the Bar Mitzvah boy and sharing words of inspiration in a warm and beautiful atmosphere.
The Rabbi welcomes you to discuss your Bar Mitzvah and its relevance and importance.
To make an appointment with the Rabbi, book any Bar Mitzvah lessons and/or to sponsor the Kiddush in honor of the Bar Mitzvah, please contact Sandy Budin.
Click here to learn more about becoming a Bar Mitzvah
For a Jewish girl, the twelfth birthday is a transformational time. It is then that she begins a new stage in life and becomes a Bat Mitzvah.
This rite of passage, marking the entry into Jewish adulthood, is the most appropriate time for a young woman to learn about the beauty and significance of Jewish womanhood. By discovering the meaning of what it means to be a Jewish woman our young girls are equipped to meet the challenges they may encounter in their journey of life.
Our Bat Mitzvah celebrates this special milestone with meaningful preparation and an exciting program. Leah Sasson who meets with groups of Bat Mitzvah girls to discuss Torah themes, learn about the role of a Jewish woman, and to prepare a beautiful presentation for the Bat Mitzvah ceremony.
To participate in a Bat Mitzvah ceremony at the Shul, please contact Sandy Budin.
The period leading up to marriage can be quite stressful. With all the attention placed on the gown, flowers, and caterers the more important preparations are sometimes overlooked. As a couple begins a new life together it is vital that it starts with a strong foundation.
The traditional blessing conveyed to a new bride and groom is that they merit to
build a“Bayit Ne’eman B’Yisroel”, an everlasting edifice in Israel.
Fundamental to a structure is its foundation. While beautiful furnishings and
embellishments certainly enhance a home it is the bricks and concrete lying deep beneath the ground that truly sustain the structure.
The time leading up to the wedding is crucial. It is then that the foundation is
placed that will set the tone for the future.
Each couple is given the opportunity to meet privately with the Rabbi to prepare
for this very important day.
We have provided a downloadable wedding guide with important information as well as valuable tips to help with these preparations. The guide also contains a list of required documentation to be supplied to the Shul Secretary when getting married. Many thanks to Rabbi Yossy Goldman for providing this invaluable guide.
Death & Mourning
The loss of a loved one is a difficult and painful experience. The Rabbi is available to give support and comfort to the mourners during this painful period.
It is important for the funeral to take place as soon as possible so that the deceased can be laid to rest without delay.
Please contact the Chevrah Kadisha so that the necessary arrangements can be made.