Life Cycle Events

Marking Life Cycle Events with Meaning. Judaism has always recognized important moments in people’s lives. At Beth Am, we help to create these significant moments and infuse them with personal meaning. Whether breaking a glass under the wedding chupah (canopy), passing on a cherished Hebrew family name to a newborn, or being called to the Torah to read the blessing of our ancestors, our clergy add a personal touch to these experiences.

At Beth Am, we are an inclusive congregation and welcome the participation of our non-Jewish family members and all family configurations in life cycle events. For more information, please contact Jackie Lehner by email or at 215-886-8000 ext: 148 to make an appointment with one of our clergy.

Planning a wedding or other special simcha (celebration)? The warmth of our Clergy and synagogue staff and the inviting nature of our sanctuary will help make your celebration a unique and meaningful experience. For additional information and availability, please contact our Executive Director, Karen Kantor at 215-886-8000.

Brit Milah – The Torah commands us to circumcise our newborn sons on the eighth day of their new lives. This powerful ceremony celebrates new life, and also brings our sons into Judaism’s sacred covenant. Our clergy can put you in touch with a mohel (ritual circumciser). Help parents understand the ceremony, and co-officiate, along with the mohel.

Baby Namings and Simchat Bat (Joy of A Daughter) – We celebrate the great blessing of all genders of newborns with a ceremony that brings them into the covenant, and confers upon them a Hebrew name.  Our Clergy can help you think through and design this ceremony, which can take place either at home, or at the synagogue. Please let us know as your family grows so that we may extend a warm and personal welcome to your newborn.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah – Bar/Bat Mitzvah students move from childhood to adulthood. As the son or daughter of the commandments, you commit yourself to proud membership of our ancient people.

Wedding – Our clergy can help you prepare for this wonderful, joyous occasion, by teaching engaged couple the meaning of the ceremony, from Ketubah (marriage document), to Kiddushin (Engagement) to Chuppah (Marriage Canopy) to Nissuin (marriage ceremony) to breaking the glass.  We also counsel you, offering Jewish wisdom in preparation for a life dedicated to love and companionship.  We also work with you in designing the ceremony, providing our knowledge and experience. Our clergy celebrate with two adults beginning their lives together and welcomes LGBTQIA couples and interfaith couples to the chuppah.

Unveiling – “Hakamat Matzeivah,” The unveiling of a grave marker, may take place after the first month since burial but usually at 11 months. The presence of clergy is not required and user-friendly hard copies are available from the administrative office in the event that congregants facilitate such a life cycle event.

Funeral – Our tradition offers several powerful end-of-life rituals – from kriah (tearing of a garment), to shiva (mourning). Our clergy will instruct you on these and other rituals.  We can also perform the funeral ceremony for our congregants and their close family members, and help you understand and implement other meaningful Jewish mourning practices.

Sponsoring an Oneg Shabbat – We love to celebrate together! If you are interested in sponsoring an oneg Shabbat or wine, cheese and more before an Erev Shabbat service, our staff can assist you with all the preparations. Please contact us for more information!