During Covid-19 restrictions, most life cycle events will be conducted for extended family and friends via Zoom. Funerals will utilize in-person and virtual at the discretion of the family, funeral home, and rabbi.
Beginning of Life
Celebrating the arrival of a Jewish baby, whether through birth or adoption, is a part of our covenant that brings joy, connection to our rituals, honor to our extended families and often some bagels and shmear. The ceremonies of Bris and Brit Bat welcome a son or daughter into the covenant of Judaism though a ritual act – a circumcision for a boy and for a girl, creative covenantal moments include touching the Torah or being wrapped in tallit. Working with the rabbi to choose a name that honors family members is the second component.
If you or your child has never been given a Hebrew name, the time to call the rabbi is now!
More than only being focused on the wedding ceremony and s’eudat mitzvah (meal of mitzvah), Rabbi Symons’s approach is to spend time with the couple and prepare them for marriage. Using the program Prepare and Enrich, through which she was trained, the couple builds on strengths and works on areas within their relationship that need to be strengthened. This is brought forward into the meaningful symbols of the wedding: the chuppah and who supports it, the rings, the wording of the ketubah (wedding document) as well as its witnesses and personalizing the ceremony.
Though we wish this were not a part of the life cycle, for many of us it is. Whether short term, long term or terminal, Rabbi Symons and our community are here to bring comfort and ease, including rabbinic visits and delicious homemade meals provided by members of our Caring Community.
End of life and mourning are times when our rituals provide comfort and meaning, and the community provides support, including arranging shiva minyanim and a shiva meal for the family.
Speaking with family members about end of life wishes and making arrangements allows them to mourn when the time comes rather than be immersed in details. Rabbi Symons would be honored to participate in these discussions with you.
Choosing to convert to Judaism is the beginning of a long conversation of “yes’s.” Often initiated years before by a lack of connection to one’s childhood religion, there is then an event, a turning point, that opens the door to the possibility of becoming a Jew. Through study, involvement in the Temple community and private meetings with Rabbi Symons, the conversion candidate takes their knowledge and transforms it into a way of interacting with the world through a Jewish lens. At the end of the process, as the candidate ascends the bimah to share their journey and to chant the Shema while cradling the Torah, every member of the congregation has two reactions: heightened Jewish pride and being inspired by this Jew-by-Choice’s “yes.”
Some quotes from people who have converted to Judaism at Temple David:
I took the Judaism 101 class with no real intention of converting at that time, I just wanted to gain a better understanding of Judaism, so that I could appreciate the services and High Holidays that I attended. After the class was over, I felt that conversion was on my radar, and not as alien as I thought it would be. The 2 year experience of learning Hebrew, with the Adult B’Nai Mitzvah ladies, discussions with the Rabbi and exchanges with my husband helped me further appreciate the values of Judaism. The whole process made sense when I was finally able to recite the Shema at my conversion service. I was a Jew.
Whether you are celebrating a special birthday or anniversary or marking your retirement, Rabbi Symons would relish sharing with you a special blessing. Please contact her directly.