At Rodef Sholom, we see each and every Jewish wedding as not only an opportunity to create a vibrant and festive ceremony, but also as a chance to begin a couple's commitment to a vibrant and festive Jewish home.
Therefore, in helping to shape weddings, we welcome all couples that wish to get married with Jewish ritual and customs and begin the process of having a Jewish home, no matter their religious background or sexual orientation. We recognize the wide variety of Jewish practice that exists and will work with each couple to help them articulate what kind of a Judaism they hope to develop and grow in their marriage and home. If you would like a Jewish wedding, we will help you to create a Jewish wedding that is accessible to your whole family, meaningful, and connects you to our Jewish community.
Suggested reading: The New Jewish Wedding Book by Anita Diamant
Let your house be opened wide. -- Avot 1:5; Avot de Rabbi Natan 7
Becoming a Jew by choice
Are you wondering what it would mean to become a Jew? We would love to help you explore this question. At Rodef Sholom, the path toward becoming a Jew is created for each individual and can take many forms. For each person who seeks to become a Jew in our community, we aim to create ways toward Judaism that are engaging, accessible, joyful and challenging.
The specific process of becoming a Jew by choice at Rodef Sholom also includes the following:
- an Introduction to Judaism class such as Exploring Judiasm;
- participation in Shabbat and holiday celebrations;
- one-on-one sessions with a clergy member for approximately a year for study, spiritual guidance and discussion;
- mentoring by a recent Jew by choice;
- a conversion ceremony that includes a mikvah (immersion in the ritual bath) and a beit din (ceremonial questioning of the convert that helps them articulate their personal Jewish path); and
- a festive public blessing during a regular Friday night or Saturday morning service which includes receiving a Hebrew name.
If you are interested in becoming Jewish, are not sure, or have questions about the process, please know we are waiting to speak to you! Please contact Molly at 479.3441 or [email protected].
Suggested reading: Choosing a Jewish Life by Anita Diamant
Baby naming and britot
You are expecting a baby! Mazel tov!
We welcome full participation from the diverse range of families at Rodef Sholom who wish to have a Jewish baby naming or bris (Jewish coventantal circumcision). Here at Rodef Sholom, we see baby namings and britot (plural of bris) as opportunities to create new Jewish paths for our growing families and can help connect you to blessings and resources for home or for congregational ceremonies.
We hope to join with you and all members of your family to help shape a Jewish ritual for your baby that will mark his or her entry into the world and our community with meaning and purpose. According to the Jewish Reform Movement, children with one Jewish parent (mother or father) are considered fully Jewish if they are raised and educated as Jews. Because we realize that decisions about birth rituals can be complicated, we can connect you to a mentor (someone in the congregation who has worked through these decisions) or a member of the clergy who can guide you in this process. If you have questions, want to know your options, or wonder about the impact of your decisions on the religious identity of your child, please call Michael Kamler at 415. 479.3441.
Suggested reading: The New Jewish Baby Book by Anita Diamant
death, burial and mourning
There are stars up above,
so far away we only see their light
long, long after the star itself is gone.
And so it is with people that we loved --
their memories keep shining ever brightly
though their time with us is done.
But the stars that light up the darkest night,
these are the lights that guide us.
As we live our days, these are the ways to remember.
-- Hannah Senesh, Mishkan T'filah
A note from the clergy:
As clergy, we often meet with congregants who are battling illness, mourning the loss of a loved one, or seeking guidance with planning for end of life issues. These often being the most difficult issues to navigate.
The Chevra Kadisha and clergy of Rodef Sholom have prepared this handbook to help support you and your family through the rituals surrounding death, burial, mourning and grief. Judaism offers a rich and valuable tradition of rituals and customs that guide us throughout this painful and difficult process.
We know that this guide will be a helpful resource to you. In addition, please know that we, your clergy, are here to support you during this time.
We encourage you to --
- Read through this brochure, print out the forms and put them in a file and save them on your computer.
- Discuss your wishes with relatives and friends.
- Start the conversation.
Our heartfelt thanks go out to all of the members of the Chevra Kadisha who worked tirelessly to create this very important resource for the Rodef Sholom community.
adult b'nai mitzvah
It is never too late to learn Hebrew and be called to the Torah as a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Join other adults in this meaningful pursuit, under the guidance of Cantor David Margules. It is a weekly commitment to explore Judaism and study Torah that is well worth the investment of time. Beyond b'nai mitzvah, Rodef Sholom helps Jews to find themselves on a lifelong path of a deepening relationship with God.
Those interested in adult bar/bat mitzvah should click here for more information.