Pregnancy and Birth Ceremonies

Information on Jewish baby-naming ceremonies, bris, circumcision, baptism

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Our Son’s Naming Ceremony

Personal narrative from an interfaith couple who decided on a naming ceremony, instead of a bris, for their son.

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My Son’s Bris: Why I Was Not Prepared for This

Before Jack was born, I thought I prepared as much as I could for his bris. With the help of my mother-in-law, Pennye, we compiled a list of invitees, researched kosher caterers, and created to-do lists. Pennye bought paper goods, readied the room with tables and folding chairs, and lots of gauze pads. She also explained the ceremony to […]

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I Chose to Be Jewish. This is Why

By Tamara Reese When my family moved to Pittsburgh, my son was 10 weeks old and my husband was entering into a grueling six-year medical residency. Though we’re not Orthodox, he found us an apartment smack dab in the middle of the eruv—a ritual enclosure some Jewish communities use to allow residents to carry certain […]

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A Blessing for New Moms

Gomel: A Jewish Blessing for New Moms Having kids is sometimes hard. Giving birth to a baby is REALLY hard. Judaism has a ritual to mark getting through the experience. This next video from G-dcast teaches us how to say the Gomel, a Jewish blessing that is recited upon emerging safely from danger. This blessing […]

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Getting a Hebrew Name

As our booklet on baby girl naming ceremonies explains, names are the beginning of identity formation. Choosing your baby’s name helps to shape the kind of person you are hoping the baby will become. By selecting a Hebrew name, you connect your child to the generations that precede him or her, a community and a […]

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Merging the Jewish with the Non

I was discussing my son’s Brit Milah (Bris, circumcusion) with my spiritual advisor/mentor.  I was recalling my best friend asking about whether my in-laws, my son’s non-Jewish grandfather, aunts and uncles, would be coming to the ceremony.  She asked whether they understood the importance of the ceremony.  The answers to both questions were “no.”  Truth […]

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A few thoughts as my son naps

My son, thank G-d, was born September 13, 2011.  Eight days later was his Brit Milah, his circumcision.  He was so good.  He slept.  I cried.  The Mohel included my husband in the ceremony.  We recited a beautiful prayer, asking G-d for help in parenting, for helping our son live a wonderful life and of […]

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Blessed Be the Tie That Binds

A personal narrative from a non-Jewish woman who agreed to raise her children Jewish, but worried about the bris and struggled with the prohibitions against naming someone after a living relative and holding a baby shower.

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Jewish Bris Ceremony Shows You’re Never Too Young for Tradition

Reprinted profile of Dr. Fred Kogen, “mohel to the stars,” and a real cut-up himself.

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