Life Cycle Events


B’rit Milah

B’rit milah (literally, “covenant of circumcision”), also called a bris, refers to a religious ritual through which male babies are formally welcomed into the Jewish people on the eighth day of their new lives. According to Jewish tradition, it is a parent’s obligation to circumcise a son and offer a threefold blessing for the child: a life enriched by Torah, the wedding canopy (chuppah), and good deeds. Today, a mohel or mohelet is routinely designated by parents to fulfill this custom.

Our rabbis are available to put you in touch with a mohel or mohelet, help you understand the ceremony, and co-officiate, along with the mohel. Please contact Executive Director Jason Silberfein as soon as you can to discuss the process and make arrangements, 908-232-6770, ext. 114.

Baby Naming/Simchat Bat

Ceremonies that celebrate the birth of a daughter and her entry into the covenant of the Jewish people are known by a variety of names, including b’rit bat and b’rit chayim. They are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our daughters and are an important part of liberal Judaism’s egalitarian approach to Jewish tradition.

Our Rabbis are available to help you plan this ceremony. Baby Naming ceremonies typically take place as part of our Erev Shabbat Services. Arrangements may be made by contacting Laurie Zinberg, 908-232-6770, ext. 117.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah

In Reform synagogues, boys and girls mark symbolic entry into Jewish adulthood with a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at age thirteen.

For complete Bar/Bat Mitzvah information click here or call the Temple Office at 908-232-6770.

Audio files of the blessings and prayers can be downloaded here.


Our Rabbis can help you prepare for this joyous occasion and are available to officiate weddings, for members and their children, at Temple Emanu-El and elsewhere. It is important that you discuss your upcoming wedding plans and date with a Rabbi as soon as possible. Please contact Laurie Zinberg, 908-232-6770, ext. 117.


The death of a loved one is so often a painful and confusing time for members of the family and dear friends. Our Clergy members are here to assist you in planning the funeral as well as offer helpful information on Jewish burial and mourning practices.

When a death occurs, please notify the Temple by calling 908-232-6770. Whether you call during office hours or when the Temple office is closed, listen carefully to the message for emergency contact instructions. Please call, do not email, the Temple in an emergency.

Temple Emanu-El has it’s own section within Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge. Please contact Carol Jassin at cjassin@tewnj.org.