We feel honored to be part of the holiness of the Covenant of Marriage. Our clergy officiate at wedding services in Beth Israel’s sanctuary or chapel as well as at nearby locations. Interfaith officiation is possible with the fulfillment of criteria set by the senior rabbi.
Brit Milah/Baby Namings
Our clergy are available to help welcome children into the Covenant of Israel. When available, we co-officiate with a mohel for brit milah or officiate solely for the covenant ceremony of a girl, brit b’not. Namings are also done on our pulpit during select Erev Shabbat (evening) services.
Every Jew reaches the age of Jewish responsibility at his or her 13th birthday and automatically becomes a bar or bat bitzvah, which translates to son or daughter of the Commandments. We are proud to welcome those with a Jewish foundation and specific preparation to celebrate that milestone on our bimah. Students enrolled in our Religious School program, or those members who are attending a Jewish day school, are eligible to celebrate a bar or bat mitzvah in our community. Every few years we create a class for adults who did not celebrate a bar/bat mitzvah at 13 and are interested in doing so as an adult. Check the Adult Learning page to see if the Adult B’nai Mitzvah Program is being offered. Read more about our bar/bat mitzvah program here.
Conversion to Judaism
We welcome those who wish to explore our faith and consider embracing the Covenant of Israel. Our rabbis work with individual candidates toward conversion to Judaism. Candidates must complete Beth Israel’s Introduction to Judaism course and other requirements as assigned by the sponsoring rabbi. Our New to Judaism classes offer many ways to learn more about Jewish belief and practice.
Funerals and Unveilings
The clergy strives to make themselves available to bereaved families as soon as we hear of a death. A rabbi will meet with your family in advance of a funeral service and officiate at either the graveside or chapel. If you need to reach the clergy immediately, our answering service is available at all times at 858-535-1111. Information about our Jewish burial space and above-ground mausoleum entombment, including addresses and directions, is on our Cemetery and Mausoleum page.
A rabbi or layperson will officiate at shiva minyan services in the home of the bereaved for one service or up to the full week of shiva. Beth Israel provides appropriate prayer books and kippot.
Our clergy meet with congregants on occasion for short-term counseling. We are also available to direct congregants to appropriate long-term counseling settings.
Contact us for More Information
For further information about Life Cycle events and appointments, please contact Leanne Shawler, Assistant to Rabbi Berk and Rabbi Gimbel, at 858 535-1111 ext. 2520, or Susan Hutchison, Assistant to Rabbi/Cantor Arlene Bernstein, at 858 535-1111, ext. 2522.
To celebrate a Life Cycle event at Beth Israel, please contact Facilities/Events Coordinator Mendy Strebe at 858-900-2572. Read more about holding an event at Beth Israel.