Life Cycle Rituals

Baby Namings & Birth Rituals

Mazel Tov!

There is no greater joy than welcoming a bright new light into your life. When a child is born, we have the great blessing of giving that child a name which is itself a blessing of who we hope they will become and of all the goodness we hope will fill their life. There are many rituals that we use to bless a new baby and welcome them into the covenant. If you are expecting a little one, please let us know. We have resources for pregnancy, and resources for when your little one emerges into the world. As always, we are thrilled to work with you to craft a ceremony that honors the unique blessings of your family and the unique potential of your child.

Ritual Ceremonies

Bris/Brit Milah*

A Brit Milah is a ritual circumcision held when the boy is eight days old even on Shabbat or holidays, unless he is sick. (In that case, speak to the rabbi to determine the proper time to have the Brit Milah.) The circumcision is performed by a Mohel*. The time of the service is set with the person performing the circumcision. If you have a boy, be sure to tell the hospital and the doctor you do not want him circumcised until the appropriate ceremony. After the circumcision is completed, a prayer is read to announce the boy’s name. Most mohels have a number of service formats for the ceremony, to allow parents, grandparents and those attending to participate.

*If the circumcision takes place at a hospital, the celebration afterward can be held at home, in the Synagogue or at the hospital.

We have provided a few additional resources for you to review:

Baby Naming/ Simchat Bat*

A baby girl is named at a Synagogue service during the Torah reading on Shabbat. The parents come forward for an aliyah with the child, after which a prayer is read giving the name. Although there is no set time after the birth that the naming must take place, it has become traditional to give the name within a month of birth.

Who to call!
  • If you are holding a bris – please call Mohel of your choosing first – Temple Emanuel Recommended Mohelim or New England Mohelim
  • If you would like to hold the bris at Temple Emanuel, please contact Erin (617-558-8127) to reserve a space.
  • If you would like to sponsor a Kiddush in your baby’s honor, please contact Erin (617-558-8127).
  • If you would like a rabbi present at your bris, please contact Joan (617-558-8101).
  • If you would like a baby naming for a boy or a girl, please contact Tessa (617-558-8111).

Our Baby is Named. Now What?

When the celebrations have completed and you are settled in, please join Temple Emanuel’s group for young families, TE Tots.

Help us let the community know about your new arrival by filling out our Baby Announcement form!

Be sure to reserve your spot at the Temple Emanuel Preschool as well! Preschool accepts children aged 15 months – 5 years!