Holiday & Festival Observance
The annual observance of holidays and festivals is delineated by the Jewish calendar, much of it dating back to antiquity. At Temple Israel, we joyously mark them all, according to Jewish law, and with many of our own homegrown TI traditions! Be sure to check our calendar and weekly announcements for up-to-date information.
Rosh Hashanah * Yom Kippur * Sukkot * Sh’mini Atzeret/Simchat Torah * Hanukkah * Purim * Tu B’Shevat * Pesach * Yom Hashoah * Yom HaAtzmaut * Shavuot * Lag B’Omer * Tisha B’Av
Temple Israel offers a beautiful facility, appropriate to host parties and celebrations of all kinds, and is available for rental by members and non-members of our congregation. Click here for more information.
- Brit Milah / Brit Bat / Baby Naming
- Bar/Bat Mitzvah
- Jews-by-Choice and Conversion
- Funeral / Shiva
- Oneg/Kiddush Sponsorship
Brit Milah (Covenant of Circumcision) / Brit Bat (Daughter’s Covenant) / Baby Naming
Judaism celebrates birth with the rituals of Brit Milah (Covenant of Circumcision) for a boy and Brit Bat (Daughter’s Covenant) for a girl. Brit Milah is traditionally held on the eighth day after birth and is performed by a mohel who is trained in the ritual of circumcision. The Brit Bat for a girl may be held any time after the birth, but is generally done within the first months of life. Either occasion is also a wonderful opportunity for announcing the newborn’s Hebrew name and formally introducing the new addition to extended family and friends. Brit milah, bat brit and baby namings may be performed in the sanctuary during regular Shabbat worship or at another time, in the synagogue, your home or another private venue. Following the ritual during services at the synagogue, if they wish, families may arrange an appropriate celebration, such as sponsoring a Kiddush for the community.
Marking a child’s transition to Jewish adulthood at the age of 13 is a time of pride and joy for our entire congregation, as it is for your family. Typically, the bar or bat mitzvah chants the haftarah and reads a small segment of the Torah portion at the Shabbat morning service. He or she may want to lead the congregation in additional parts of the service, depending on many factors, including Hebrew fluency, level of preparation or comfort in front of crowds. There is no set formula, and each child is treated as a unique individual whose gifts are celebrated.
Children of Temple Israel members who have completed the requisite years of Jewish religious education, either at an area day school or the Northern New Jersey Jewish Academy (Temple Israel’s communal supplemental after-school program) or who have attended religious school as members of another congregation are eligible to become bar or bat mitzvah at Temple Israel. There are many details to consider in the planning, in addition to what parts of the worship service your child is prepared to lead, as well as how to include non-Jewish members of your family in the rituals. Temple Israel has an extensive packet of information (updated periodically) to assist you and your child as you both approach the date of this significant milestone.
Rabbi Fine welcomes conversation with couples of all Jewish backgrounds and interfaith couples seeking to marry in the Jewish faith or incorporate elements of Jewish tradition into their ceremony. It is our objective to celebrate with all couples interested in creating a Jewish household and raising Jewish children within the strictures of the Conservative movement. Temple Israel is also available as a venue to have your wedding or other celebration.
As a rabbi ordained by the Conservative movement, Rabbi Fine may not officiate at interfaith ceremonies, however, he is happy to thoroughly discuss the parameters of what is permissible according to Jewish law and the various options available for sanctifying an interfaith union. Rabbi Fine is a proud supporter of the Conservative movement’s acceptance of same-sex marriage. He was one of the first Conservative rabbis to perform a same sex ufruf and would be happy to officiate at a gay or lesbian wedding, provided both members of the pair are legally Jewish (born of a Jewish mother).
Jews-by-Choice and Conversion
Is your life partner or prospective life partner Jewish? Have you been part of a Jewish family through marriage and come to love and cherish the Jewish faith? Or does something about Judaism call to you?
Temple Israel is welcoming to and encouraging of individuals on the path to becoming Jewish. Our congregation boasts many Jews-by-Choice, including past presidents, board members and our beloved cantor. In addition, a contingent of members, some recently converted, others Jews-by-Choice of long standing, enthusiastically completed an intensive course of study that culminated in an adult bar/bat mitzvah celebration—an occasion for celebration by the entire community.
Whatever may have led you to think about becoming a Jew-by-Choice, conversion to Judaism is a serious and exciting step in a personal religious journey. While this entails an intensive course of study of Jewish texts and traditions, leading to increasing commitment to and participation in Jewish community and observance, the timeline and options for completing the process are varied and individual. The formal conversion rituals are undertaken when an individual, in consultation with a rabbi, feels ready to officially join the Jewish People. Both Rabbi Fine and Cantor Bromberg are versed in the depth and breadth of the conversion process and are happy to consult with individuals, couples and families interested to learn more.
End-of-life rituals come at a time of tremendous stress, grief and mourning, but their observance can be a source of great comfort and the beginning of a process of healing. Temple Israel is proud of its longstanding tradition of giving full support to mourners in the community, including our non-Jewish members and interfaith families who suffer the loss of a non-Jewish relative.
Our congregation has many resources to help you cope, beginning with the responsiveness and sensitivity of our rabbi and cantor. Our Ritual Committee organizes prayer minyanim throughout the week of Shiva to ensure that mourners feel supported by a caring Jewish community. Our Chesed Committee stands ready to provide sustenance in the form of meals and other services, as needed.
For Jewish burial, Temple Israel has made arrangements with the Beth El and Cedar Park Cemeteries in Paramus. For further information, please contact Evan Dobkins at firstname.lastname@example.org To learn more about special pricing for our members, please click here.
Temple Israel also offers the opportunity to purchase Memorial Plaques, which are displayed on the walls of our main sanctuary and lit in observation of Yahrzeit. For more information on purchasing a Memorial Plaque, please click here.
Sponsoring a Friday night Oneg Shabbat or Shabbat Kiddush lunch is a wonderful way to celebrate a lifecycle event or other simcha, such as a birthday, an anniversary or child’s graduation. For more information and available upcoming dates, contact the synagogue office at email@example.com.
For complete information about ritual observance of Jewish lifecycle events, please contact Rabbi Fine at firstname.lastname@example.org or (201) 444-9320. To inquire about renting the facility for a simcha, please email email@example.com.