Full of helpful advice for families starting to think about their child's bat or bar mitzvah, Bar & Bat Mitzvah For The Interfaith Family will be a helpful primer to all families (not just interfaith!).
This booklet explains the history of Hanukkah, the symbolism and significance of lighting candles for eight nights, the blessings that accompany the lighting of the candles, the holiday's foods, the game of dreidels, and more!
Connecting Interfaith Families to Jewish Life in Greater Cleveland by providing programs and opportunities for interfaith families to experience Judaism in a variety of venues, meet other interfaith families, and to connect to other Jewish organizations that may serve their needs.
This is an interactive, fun, and low-key workshop for couples who are dating, engaged or recently married. The sessions will give you a chance to ask questions about faith, to think about where you are as an adult with your own spirituality and to talk through what's important to you and your partner.
A great way for Jewish professionals and volunteers who work with and provide programming for people in interfaith relationships to locate resources and trainings to build more welcome into their Jewish communities; connect with and learn from each other; and publicize and enhance their programs and services.
Lifting and Dressing the Torah: Hagbah and Gelilah
Have you ever seen the Torah lifted up high during a prayer service and thought to yourself, "I'm much to short/small/weak/nervous to try that"?
Let us assure you: you're not too short, small, weak, or nervous to try!
The acts of lifting and then dressing the Torah are honors that anyone can easily learn.
During any service in which the Torah is read, the reading is followed by the Torah being lifted for the congregation to see and then re-rolled and dressed. The hagbah is "lifting the Torah" into the air so that all can see its words.
This sacred task can be taught quickly. The person doing hagbah unrolls the Torah scroll so that it's about shoulder width, then lifts the Torah at least to shoulder height, and turns around so that the writing is facing the congregation. In some congregations, the Torah remains held high while a particular verse is sung, while in others the Torah is either lowered back to the bimah or is carried to a seat (keeping the Torah in the vertical position). The person who did hagbah is now seated, holding the Torah upright on their lap, and is almost done. Generally, the front portion of the Torah (see below) will be facing them; the back portion will be facing the congregation.
The person "dressing the Torah," performing the ritual known as gelilah (which really means "rolling the Torah"), who has been standing off to the side while the Torah has been lifted, accompanies the Torah to the seat (watching to rescue the Torah if it begins to wobble). When that person is seated with the Torah, the person honored with gelilah dresses the Torah with its belt, its cover, and any other pieces (such as a mantle, pointer — known as a yad, or crowns).
The Torah is still dressed as the priests at the time of the holy Temple in Jerusalem dressed it. Lifting and dressing the Torah are honors because these tasks publicly demonstrate how the community loves and reveres the words of the scroll and all it stands for and teaches.
Reform synagogues are often called "temple." "The Temple" refers to either the First Temple, built by King Solomon in 957 BCE in Jerusalem, or the Second Temple, which replaced the First Temple and stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem from 516 BCE to 70 CE. The elevated area or platform in a synagogue, from which Torah is read. Worship service leaders, such as clergy, may lead services from the bimah as well. The first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), or the scroll that contains them.