Lifecycle celebrations and ceremonies are occasions to be together whether in joy or sorrow. From birth to death, our life experiences are enriched as we gather together in our community. We are delighted to name babies and children on the bimah in your home or at a Shabbat or personal service and to welcome b’nai or b’not mitzvah into our Jewish community as they reach the age of 13. Rabbi Newman and Cantor Michelle share the joy of weddings in our beautiful Rocky Mountains in personalized. To help families in the most difficult of part of the life cycle, we help with funerals and shiva services. Members can purchase cemetery plots in the B’nai Vail section of the Minturn Cemetery.
Tribute donations are also great ways to honor the anniversaries of loved ones. Click Here to make a tribute donation that will be published in our newsletter.
Birth, Brit Milah and Namings
Beginning of life ceremonies for boys and girls can take place in the home as a private family celebration or in the synagogue during a Shabbat service. Rabbi Newman creates unique, inclusive ceremonies for each family.
Students who are in good standing in our Religious School program and who have achieved the equivalent of three years of Hebrew proficiency are invited to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah . Students entering the fifth grade of Religious School should register for Hebrew instruction. At that time, a date may be set on the congregational calendar for the celebration of Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Six month prior to the dates a tutor will be assigned to help the student study the Torah portion. B’nai Mitzvah candidates may conduct the Shabbat morning service in its entirety or they may elect to modify their participation according to their ability. Usually, the celebration of Bar/Bat Mitzvah takes place within the context of a Shabbat morning service, but other arrangements can be made.
We are enthusiastic about assisting adults of any age and educational background to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah! They can study privately with a tutor and customize their role in the service.
B’nai Vail encourages persons interested in choosing Judaism to make an appointment with the Rabbi. A course of study will be laid out for that individual. There is no way to standardize how much time the process of study and experiencing Judaism will take before the candidate is ready for a conversion ceremony. Contact Rabbi Newman for more information.
Couples wishing to be married are asked to contact Rabbi Newman to talk more about the wedding, the marriage, and how B’nai Vail can support your goals for your future life together. Rabbi Newman will work with the couple to select and edit a Ketubah, or marriage contract that is used in the ceremony. At B’nai Vail, the entire family is welcomed and encouraged to be a part of the wedding ceremony.
Cantor Michelle’s music enhances the ceremony as she sings the prayers and special songs selected by the couple.
Rabbi Newman works with couples and families to help them feel at home and welcome at B’nai Vail. He is happy to meet with you personally to discuss special circumstances.
Families wishing to celebrate significant wedding anniversaries should contact Rabbi Newman. This celebration can take place in the synagogue or another special location. Special blessings are also given during Shabbat services.
Funerals and Memorial Services
B’nai Vail members are encouraged to call Rabbi Newman when there has been a death in the family. He will assist the family in making arrangements for the funeral or memorial service. B’nai Vail members are entitled to purchase cemetery plots and spaces in the Mausoleum in the Jewish section of the Minturn Cemetery. Rabbi Newman and Cantor Michelle will help with Shiva services and observances.
Anniversary of a Death: Yartzeit
The Jewish tradition of yahrzeit (Yiddish meaning “the time (zeit) of year (yahr)”) to help us honor the memory of family members on the anniversary of the death. At B’nai Vail, this is usually on the anniversary according to the Hebrew calendar date to mark yahrzeit. The names of these loved ones are read for the entire month that the yartziet is observed.
While this is never an easy decision, Rabbi Newman is available to discuss options, make referrals and help with this process. If the couple had a ketubah or Jewish wedding, Rabbi Newman is a certified scribe and can write the “get,” or Jewish divorce decree so the individuals can remarry in the future.