The first Jewish lifecycle ritual that a Jew will experience is typically one connected to birth. As with all major occasions Judaism has sought to sanctify the occasion of birth and mark the bringing of a new child into the covenant with God with rituals and ceremonies.

The ceremony to bring a boy into the covenant is called a Brit Milah, a covenant of circumcision. A bris, as it is often called, occurs on the 8th day of life, not beforehand, but it can be delayed if there are medical reasons to postpone. The ceremony includes prayers to welcome the child into the Jewish people, the circumcision, the formal announcing of the child’s Jewish or Hebrew name, and additional blessings.

A bris is a very joyous occasion and is often concluded with a celebratory meal, also known as a se’udat mitzvah. The performance of the circumcision is actually an obligation on the boy’s father, but he typically appoints the mohel, ritual circumcisor, to do it for him. Depending on your needs, our clergy can recommend a number of mohels, including Cantor Marc Kushner.

If you need assistance with a lifecycle event please call Congregation Beth El at (856) 675-1166 and ask for Leora Waiche or Tamar Barkan, or email us at info@bethelsnj.org.