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Lifecycle

We welcome individuals and families who would like to celebrate and commemorate rites of passage at the synagogue or in the home. Please contact the Rabbis by telephone on 020 7432 1283 or by email at rabbispa@ljs.org to discuss any of these areas.

Circumcision
The tradition of circumcision of a male child at eight days old goes back to Abraham who circumcised himself and his sons Isaac and Ishmael. Brit Milah (‘the covenant of circumcision’) is performed by a medically qualified mohel. Please contact The LJS if you wish to be put in touch with a mohel, who will also perform a circumcision for sons where only one parent is Jewish.


Simchat Bat – Rejoicing on the birth of a daughter

Baby girls are welcomed into the covenant with a special service of prayers and blessings in the home or the synagogue when the baby is eight days old. 

Naming and Blessing of a Child

Children are welcomed into the community in a simple but beautiful ceremony of naming and blessing which takes place during the Shabbat morning service. The LJS also offers a communal naming ceremony biennially and members and non-members are welcome to participate. 

Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash


Adoption
Liberal Judaism welcomes adopted children into the community and the LJS offers ceremonies of naming and blessing.  Please speak to one of the LJS’s Rabbis for more details.

Starting Rimon (the LJS religion school)

Children are welcomed into Rimon Religion School from the age of 3½ years and upwards with a ceremony called Chanukkat Limmud. At the end of their first term at Rimon, each child is called up to the bimah during a special Shabbat morning service where a blessing is invoked and they are presented with a little gift.

Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah
Girls and boys can become Bar or Bat Mitzvah at The LJS at the age of 13. A Bar or Bat Mitzvah generally leads the Friday evening service with the Rabbi and reads or leyns from the Torah on Shabbat morning. Children are required to attend Rimon for a minimum of two years before they can become Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Click here for more details about the course and requirements.

Kabbalat Torah

Teenagers remain at Rimon for a further five terms after Bar or Bat Mitzvah, with a specially crafted curriculum for Years 9 and 10 (KT1 and KT2) on the texts, traditions, ethics and beliefs of Judaism, as well as history. KT2 spend a weekend in Amsterdam in the fourth term and lead an entire Shabbat morning service at the end of the fifth term, reading from the Torah and offering short Divrei Torah on a chosen theme. 

Converting to Judaism
People choose to convert to Judaism for many different reasons.  Perhaps there is Jewish ancestry in their family and becoming Jewish may represent an act of re-connection with the Jewish part of their heritage.  They may have a Jewish partner and have experienced some of the rituals or family gatherings of Jewish life.  And there are other reasons as well.  The Liberal Jewish Synagogue welcomes all those who wish to convert to Judaism through the Liberal Judaism Beit Din and provides services and individual times with a Rabbi for discussion. Please click here to read our pamphlet on conversion.


Marriage
At LJS we delight in celebrating the love of two people, regardless of gender. The term for marriage, Kiddushin, comes from the Hebrew word for holiness and marriage is often seen as a way of experiencing holiness in our everyday lives. Marriage has always been highly valued in Jewish tradition. Traditionally between two people of the opposite gender and associated in Judaism with procreation, it is now more often entered into as part of a public, legal and spiritual cementing of a lifelong loving partnership.
 
Liberal Judaism’s wedding ceremony reflects the equal status of women and has developed both liturgy and ketubot (marriage contracts) specifically for same-gender and non-binary gender ceremonies.

If you would like to have a wedding at the LJS or at another venue, please contact the Rabbis' PA by emailing rabbispa@ljs.org, or on 020 7432 1283.

Please note: The law of England, Scotland and Wales permits marriage between two persons of either gender but stipulates that, when a couple wishes to be married under Jewish auspices, both partners must be Jewish, and both must be members of the LJS. 

For more information, please contact the Rabbi’s PA via rabbispa@ljs.org, or on 020 7432 1283.

Mixed Faith Blessings
The LJS Rabbis are pleased to be invited to officiate at mixed faith blessings following a Register Office wedding for couples of mixed faith or heritage, where one partner is Jewish.  The process of creating a blessing, rituals, readings and music, is deeply satisfying and the result is meaningful and very beautiful.  And it’s important that each ceremony is created especially for the couple concerned.  For more details, please contact the Rabbis’ PA via rabbispa@ljs.org or 020 7432 1283.

Death and Mourning
In the event of a death, please contact our Funeral Co-ordinator, Jo-Anne Winston on 020 7432 1298. Burials or cremations, as well as evening prayers, can be arranged by LJS staff. There is a helpful booklet, ‘When Someone Dies: How to Arrange a Funeral through The LJS’, please download here See also the Bereavement section for more details.
 

Mon, 3 August 2020 13 Av 5780