Welcoming Children Into the Covenant of the Jewish People

Brit Milah – Covenant of Circumcision for boys

The Brit Milah (“covenant of circumcision”) refers to the religious ritual through which male babies are formally welcomed into the Jewish people. The ceremony is celebrated on the eighth day after birth.  The Brit may be held at home or, for babies of members of the congregation, may be held in the Temple. It is usually held during the morning or daylight hours. The circumcision is performed by a mohel who is trained in the surgical procedures of Brit Milah. Our clergy will be happy to take part in the ceremony if requested and are also able to recommend a mohel for your ceremony.

Simchat Bat/Brit Bat – Welcoming ceremony for girls

It is also customary to welcome girls into the community by giving them a Hebrew name and, if the family chooses a ritual that welcomes the child into the covenant.  At Temple Isaiah one may choose to have a baby naming on Friday night. This ceremony includes the entire family being called to stand in front of the open ark and receiving a blessing in addition to the giving of a name.

Some families choose to have a more intimate ceremony at home or in the temple where rituals like wrapping the child in a tallit or lighting two candles are included. These ceremonies are planned with the clergy.

To schedule any of these ceremonies, please contact the main office • 310.277.2772.

Suggested resources:

Celebrating your New Jewish Daughter by Debra Nussbaum Cohen
The New Name Dictionary  by Alfred Kolatch