At M’kor Shalom, we celebrate life’s joyful passages together and support each other in times of grief.
New babies are welcomed into our community through the Brit Milah ceremony (bris) and/or a naming ceremony. Naming ceremonies can be private family events or take place at a Shabbat evening service.
Following a period of introspection and an intense study of Judaism overseen by our clergy, an individual is warmly welcomed into the Jewish faith. His or her acceptance of Judaism may be completed in an intimate family setting or in front of the congregation.
A Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah welcomes a young person into the community of adult Jews through the act of chanting from the Torah before the congregation, family and friends. Our students learn Hebrew language, prayers, blessings and different parts of the Shabbat service over a course of years leading up to their B’nai Mitzvah, and also receive individualized attention from our clergy and a tutor in the year before the ceremony. The result is that every child feels a great sense of accomplishment on the day of their Bar or Bat Mitzvah and feels a deep connection to their Jewish heritage.
Tenth grade students spend a year studying with our clergy and other master teachers. Over spring break, the students travel to Israel for a life-changing experience with their peers, clergy and teachers. A Confirmation service is held on the morning of Shavuot. Confirmands participate in all aspects of this service, including reading original essays, chanting Torah and Haftarah, leading prayers, singing and playing instruments.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah and Confirmation classes are offered periodically to our adult congregants who did not experience these life-cycle events in their youth. The classes offer a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your Jewish knowledge and identity and to strengthen your friendships with fellow congregants.
Since our congregation is now over 40 years old, our clergy have had the wonderful experience of officiating at the weddings of young people who grew up at M’kor Shalom. They have performed Jewish commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples, and now (with the change in civil law) are able to and have officiated at their weddings. Our clergy perform Jewish wedding ceremonies for intermarrying couples, as long as the clergy member is comfortable with the couple’s commitment to Judaism.
At the most difficult times in people’s lives, our clergy provide support, compassion and counsel. Our clergy officiate at funerals, and shiva services are led by the clergy or lay volunteers.