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Sample Introductions to Ceremony
Return to the Guide to Birth Ceremonies for Interfaith Families.
Sample Introduction Following Havdalah
(After Havdalah is completed, light a candle in addition to the set of candlesticks that we light on Shabbat and holidays.)
MOTHER: It is traditional that a candle be lit as a commemoration of the entrance of our newborn's soul into this world.
FRIEND: From every human being there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven. And when two souls that are destined for each other find one another, their streams of light flow together and a single brighter light comes forth… Every child is a new spark of life and the spark with a human being is his (soul).
Submitted by Morissa Fregeau
A name is more than a bland identifier
Welcome. We've gathered for what is perhaps the most joyous occasion a family and community can celebrate, the welcoming of a new baby. In many cultures throughout our beautiful and diverse world, a name is a special part of a person, part of the person's essence and being. Naming a child confers individuality upon the person. In our tradition, we give the child her/his own name but we also give her/him a Hebrew name. Thus we recognize the child's individuality but also her/his place in the Jewish community.
A name is far more than a bland identifier. It is rather a pointer, that directs our gaze in three directions. Its principal and unvarying function is to identify a particular man or woman. It bestows individuality; it ensouls. But names may also recall the past; often, they convert living persons into memorials to the dead. They may also predict the future, express a hope, augur a destiny. They carry, in sum, multiple messages. Through names, we eavesdrop as the old instruct the young, prepare them to carry the culture, and bless them on their way.
-by David Herlihy
Submitted by Judith Seid
Each new baby is special
We welcome you all to this naming ceremony as we welcome to our lives.
Each new baby is special and each one teaches you something special. A first child teaches you how much you can love another person. The second child teaches you, against all your common sense and all your fears, that love grows when it's divided. The more people you have to love, the more love you have within you to give.
-by Lauren Adelman
Submitted by Judith Seid
To love children is to love our future
To love children is to love the future. To love a child is to love the creative. We are all joined as members of the family of humanity, yet every individual is unique. A name is a special part of a person, part of the person's essence and being. Naming a child confers a sense of independent identity upon the person.
Love is an expression of our strength. To nurture another human being with the gift of our time and our talents is to affirm our own power. True love is never self-sacrifice. It is the overflow of vitality that allows the force of life to pass from one to another.
To love a child is to love life. To nurture a child is to express hope. Children do not steal our strength. They allow us to go beyond ourselves and to discover the power of our own creative talents. To be a father or a mother is more than a profession. It is more than a social calling. It is the fulfillment of one of our deepest needs–our need to touch the future and make it live. Each of us speaks through our own behavior. Each of us in his or her own life becomes a personal message. If we are creative, then others can see how to be creative. If we are strong, then our strength becomes a vivid example to those around us. Good teachers teach by what they do, not by what they say. Good parents are good teachers. The lives of their children reflect the beauty and integrity of their own actions.
-by Miriam Jerris
Submitted by Judith Seid
We are required to "know before whom we stand." This command becomes especially real at moments like this when we join together to celebrate a life cycle event. Today we all acknowledge that command. We gather together before our God as witnesses honoring the arrival of our daughter. Our sages have taught us that "Long before a soul incarnates she searches for just the right home." We are grateful that this gentle and beautiful soul has chosen us. We ask you all to rise to welcome the Guest of Honor.
Submitted by Kathy Lowy