Celebrating a birth and organising a Brit Milah
To notify the synagogue of a birth, and to arrange a Baby Blessing, Brit Milah or Simchat Bat, please contact the Administrator at:
The act of blessing your child is a beautiful custom which usually takes place during the Saturday morning Shabbat service.
A Baby Blessing Ceremony is a wonderful event where parents and grandparents come together for a communal baby blessing by the minister, along with individual blessings from the parents.
Mazal Tov on the birth of your son!
The Torah states (Vayikra/Leviticus 12:3) that Brit Milah (circumcision) takes place on the eighth day inclusive after a baby boy is born, subject to the baby being fit and well.
If the baby is not ready on the eighth day, the Brit Milah is ideally performed as soon as possible once the baby is ready. A postponed Brit Milah can not be performed on Shabbat or Yom Tov.
The source of Brit Milah can be traced back to the book of Bereshit (Genesis) where God said to Abraham, "This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised." (Genesis 17: 10)
The Initiation Society trains and supervises many Mohalim (plural) to make sure that its Mohalim are fully trained with the relevant medical and halachic (Jewish law) expertise for performing a Brit Milah. It operates under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi. We strongly recommend that you only use a Mohel who is licensed by the Initiation Society. Please visit the link below for a list of such Mohalim.
THE BRIT MILAH SERVICE
The ceremony can be held either at home or in another place, such as a synagogue. The main factor is that the location should be convenient for the mother and baby.
Often, the ceremony takes place in the morning, such as straight after morning prayers, but can take place at any time during the day before sunset, if early morning is not convenient.
For more information on the Brit Milah ceremony, please download the following PDF.
Mazal Tov on the birth of your daughter!
The father of the newly born baby girl receives an aliyah (a call up to the Torah) at the synagogue on the first Shabbat, Yom Tov or weekday morning following the birth of his daughter. Whichever occasion he is able to get to first.
Following the aliyah, the minister or another officiant will bless the baby and her parents, including a special blessing in which the baby is named. The mother of the baby should attend if she is sufficiently recovered from giving birth.
At that time, or when she is well enough to go to shul, or in the presence of a minyan, the mother should recite the Prayer Of Thanksgiving after recovery from childbirth.
Some parents also hold a Zeved Bat ceremony - a home service on the birth of a daughter. This ceremony, developed from Sephardic practice, is an optional ceremony providing another opportunity to mark the arrival of a baby girl. It may be accompanied by a celebratory meal, typically consisting of bagels and other similar snacks.