Union for Reform Judaism Member Congregation

Life Cycle Events

In Times of Joy and Sorrow

Our community offers love and support in times of joy and sorrow. When you are a member of UT you have an extended family with whom to share life cycle events and a rabbi who knows you to help you to plan and officiate.

Our rabbi also provides life cycle services to those who are not UT members for a fee and subject to availability.

Brit Milah and Simchat Bat

naming-inviteCelebrate the birth or adoption of your baby with a naming ceremony at Union Temple. The Brit Milah for a boy on the eighth day following birth can be done at your home or in the UT Sanctuary or Chapel. A Brit Bat for a girl takes place during Shabbat morning services usually in the first few weeks following birth. At these ceremonies parents may share the history and meaning of the name they have given their child and the rabbi bestows a blessing on the child. Let our rabbi know about your pregnancy or impending adoption so we may be better helpful with planning.

Bar and Bat Mitzvah

On Shabbat mornings throughout the year the entire UT community joyfully celebrate when the children of members are called to the Torah as Bar or Bat Mitzvah to read from the Torah and Haftarah and to deliver a D’var Torah. Study in the UT Religious School and with our rabbi during the year before precede this sacred and proud moment. Learn more about becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

Anshei Mitzvah

Adults who either did not have Bar or Bat Mitzvah as children, or who wish to re-commit themselves to Torah and a Jewish life prepare Torah and Haftarah readings, and teach from the Bimah at a Shabbat morning service. As with Bar and Bat Mitzvah students our rabbi works closely with the celebrant to prepare in the year preceding the ceremony. Contact our rabbi for more information.

Weddings

Our rabbi is honored to officiate at the weddings of both heterosexual and same-sex Jewish couples and seeks to make the day special and holy. Couples need not be members of UT, but are encouraged to join the community. In the months leading up to the wedding our rabbi meets on several occasions with the couple to develop a personal relationship and to plan for the ceremony. He encourages the couple to participate in the Prepare/Enrich Premarital Counseling program with him. Contact our rabbi early in your planning schedule and before making any final decisions about a date and a venue, to ensure his availability.

Funerals

Yahrtzeit_candle-edit-600-wOur rabbi and the UT community provide support at the death of a loved one. Our rabbi will meet personally with the bereaved family to discuss and plan for the funeral service and shiva, and other mourning customs. The Temple office will email UT members with any information the family would like to share about funeral arrangements, shiva plans, and where to send condolences and will place an announcement in the monthly bulletin. Please let us know about a death in your family as soon as possible by calling the UT office at 718-638-7600 and, during hours when the office is closed, following instructions in the message.

Unveilings

The graveside unveiling ceremony is traditionally held before the first anniversary of a death. For families who choose to conduct the unveiling themselves UT can provide prayer books and other resources. Contact our rabbi early to ensure his availability if you wish to have him officiate.

Conversions

The journey to conversion to Judaism at UT is personally conducted with sensitivity and compassion by our rabbi once a candidate has determined that UT is the right choice for them and is committed to joining UT after their conversion. Study consists of completion of an Introduction to Judaism course and sessions with the rabbi which concern the observation of mitzvot such as Shabbat and holiday observance, prayer and tzedakah; how conversion impacts work, family and personal relationships, and the need to make a commitment to lifelong Jewish learning. Contact our rabbi to learn more about conversion and the final ceremony which is conducted during Shabbat morning services.

Fees

Union Temple members are not charged for the rabbi’s services at life cycle ceremonies. Contributions to UT and the Rabbi’s discretionary fund are most appreciated, but completely voluntary. Non-members should make fee arrangements directly with our rabbi.

Celebrating at UT

When a ceremony is held at the temple during a Shabbat service, the family is asked to sponsor the Oneg or Kiddush. UT’s beautiful Ballroom is also available for additional private receptions for baby namings, weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvah and other simchas. Members receive a substantial discount and priority on booking dates.  Fill out the Rental Inquiry Form here or visit our Ballroom Rental. Call the office for pricing 718-638-7600 ext. 2.