Lifecycle Events

All life cycle ceremonies, from baby-naming/brit milah to Bar/Bat Mitzvah to weddings and funerals, are provided by the Rabbi and Cantor to Temple members (and their immediate family – parent, spouse or child) without fee. Our temple facilities are available for our members.

Please note: costs for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation program are separate.

At Temple B’nai Or, we uphold the importance of belonging to our community by supporting you when you have lost a loved one. Rabbi, Cantor and our community all wish to help you and your family find your way back to wholeness. We know that each family and situation is different and, as a result, questions and needs will vary.

TBO has a section at the Beth Israel cemetery in Cedar Knolls to service our members. Please contact the Temple office for more information.

Funerals may take place at one of the local funeral homes, at graveside at Beth Israel or at the synagogue. Please contact the Temple office with your loss whether clergy officiates or not; the Temple can help organize shiva and send a notice out to the congregation. We will do everything possible to accommodate your needs. Please know we are here in your time of loss. Please contact our Executive Director regarding your life cycle ceremony and you will be directed to the clergy or to the person who can best assist you. More details are below.


Baby Naming/Brit Milah
We suggest that you contact one of our Clergy during pregnancy to discuss issues related to ceremonies for a Brit Banot (baby naming for a girl) or Brit Milah (for a boy). A Brit Milah (ritual circumcision) ceremony takes place on the 8th day after birth (count the day of birth as day one, unless the baby was born after sundown). It can be held at the hospital, at home, or at Temple. You can discuss with the Clergy whether to use a mohel (the person who performs the circumcision according to Jewish law), or your doctor. There are Reform-trained mohels we can also recommend.

A Brit Banot (baby naming for a girl) can take place anytime. It too can be held at home or at Temple as a private ceremony or during a Friday evening Shabbat service. If you wish to have a private ceremony at the Temple, be sure you clear the date and time with both the officiating Clergy and the Executive Director who can assist you with arrangements.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah
In Reform Judaism we celebrate this rite of passage from childhood into adulthood at age 13 for both boys and girls. Youngsters conduct the Shabbat worship service, read from Torah and Haphtarah, and deliver a speech at a Shabbat service. Preparation for this event, which is important in the life of both the child and the family, is done through our Religious School with the involvement of the Rabbi and Cantor. To qualify, youngsters must be enrolled in our School by the 3rd grade.

Adult B’nai Mitzvah
Some members who did not have the opportunity to celebrate their passage into Jewish adulthood at age 13 want to experience the joy of celebrating it later in life. Our Adult Education program has offered a special class for men and women wishing to celebrate Adult Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Preparation time is about two years. Please let the Rabbi or Cantor know of your interest.

At the end of tenth grade in Religious School, youngsters celebrate a public affirmation of their commitment to live as Jews. This ceremony is celebrated at Temple B’nai Or on or around Shavuot, the festival that marks the receiving of the Torah by Moses at Sinai. This ceremony does not mark the end of religious school, but is a step along the way. Most go on to biweekly ORIM program for 11th and 12th graders.

Conversion / Becoming a Jew-by-Choice
Becoming a Jew by choice is a significant act of personal religious commitment. As has always been true in Judaism, we welcome into our congregational family those who choose to make this life-changing, life-long commitment. If you are interested in conversion, please meet with Rabbi Satz.

When you or one of your children becomes engaged, one of your first steps should be to contact the Clergy you wish to have officiate at the wedding. And, if you want the wedding to take place at Temple, contact the Executive Director to set the time and date. When choosing a date, remember that Jewish weddings are not performed on Shabbat or festivals.
Weddings & Receptions: Our facilities are available for a fee to our members and their children.

When death is imminent, families and friends need comfort, care, support, and guidance. Oftentimes, difficult and complicated decisions need to be made and the emotional and spiritual needs are sometimes overwhelming.

Our Clergy are available for help during the difficult days and hours that precede death, whether your loved one is local or out of town. Please contact one of them if you want them to be with you. When death occurs, please notify the Temple. If the office is closed and you need the Rabbi’s or Cantor’s help, you may contact one of them at home. The rabbi can help you with the arrangements for a funeral service and answer any other questions you might have.

Temple B’nai Or is a member of the Beth Israel Cemetery Association, the Jewish Cemetery in Cedar Knolls, NJ.   For information about the purchase of plots at the member’s price or about burial, please contact the temple office to be put in touch with Ron Axelrod.

Dedication of Tombstone:
A stone is usually dedicated close to the end of the first year following burial.  While the dedication ceremony does not require the presence of Clergy, you may contact the Rabbi or Cantor to schedule their participation should you so choose. The Clergy is also available to review this simple ceremony with you should the family wish to conduct it themselves.

Yahrzeit Plaques
Plaques with the names of departed loved ones may be purchased for the Yahrzeit/Memorial Walls in our sanctuary. Names on these Walls, evocative of the Western Wall in Jerusalem, are read in perpetuity on the Shabbat in the week of the date of death.  The Temple Office will assist you in arranging for a plaque.