Life Cycle

We welcome individuals and families who would like to celebrate and commemorate rites of passage at the synagogue or in the home.

Circumcision

The tradition of circumcision of a male child at eight days old goes back to Abraham who circumcised himself and his sons Isaac and Ishmael. Brit Milah (‘the covenant of circumcision’) is performed by a medically qualified mohel. Please contact The LJS if you wish to be put in touch with a mohel, who will also perform a circumcision for sons where only one parent is Jewish.

Simchat Bat – Rejoicing on the birth of a daughter

Baby girls can also be welcomed into the covenant with a special service of prayers and blessings in the home when the baby is eight days old. Please contact one of the LJS’s rabbis for more details.

Naming and Blessing of a Child

Children are welcomed into the community in a simple but beautiful ceremony of naming and blessing which takes place during the Shabbat morning service. The LJS also offers a communal naming ceremony biennially and members and non-members are most welcome to participate. For more details please contact 020 7286 5181.

Adoption

The LJS recognises that members may adopt children from different cultures. The Rabbis and Social Worker can provide support and advice about integration into the community, and offer special ceremonies to mark adoptions.

Starting Rimon (the LJS religion school)

Children are welcomed into Rimon Religion School from the age of 31⁄2 and upwards with a ceremony called Chanukkat Limmud. At the end of their first term at Rimon, each child is called up to the bimah during a special Shabbat morning service where a blessing is invoked and they are presented with a little gift.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Girls and boys can become Bar or Bat Mitzvah at The LJS at the age of 13. Teenagers generally lead the Friday evening service with the Rabbi and read or leyn from the Torah on Shabbat morning. Children are required to attend Rimon for a minimum of two years before they can become Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Click here for more details about the course and requirements.

Kabbalat Torah

Teenagers remain at Rimon for a further five terms after Bar or Bat Mitzvah, with a specially crafted curriculum for Years 9 and 10 (KT1 and KT2) on the texts, traditions, ethics and beliefs of Judaism, as well as history. KT2 spend a weekend in Amsterdam in the fourth term and lead an entire Shabbat morning service at the end of the fifth term, reading from the Torah and offering short Divrei Torah on a chosen theme. For more details about Kabbalat Torah, please click here.

Converting to Judaism

The LJS welcomes anyone who is considering converting to Judaism. The process, which lasts for a minimum of a year, is incredibly fulfilling as your biblical knowledge and spiritual wellbeing are enhanced; you will be guided through the process by the support of a sponsoring rabbi. To read our booklet on converting to Judaism with The LJS, please click HERE For further information, please contact the Rabbi’s PA on 020 7432 1283 or by email HERE

Marriage

Marriage is positively commanded by the Jewish religion, firstly in order to propagate the human species; secondly for the loving companionship which marriage affords; and thirdly, because it establishes the family as the basic social unit. Marriages can only take place in the synagogue when both parties are of the Jewish faith and are members of the congregation. Our rabbis are always ready to discuss, advise and help where one of the partners is Jewish and the other not. We adopt a positive and encouraging approach towards those who wish to convert to Judaism and there is always a welcome on our Choosing Judaism course. In addition, The LJS can arrange mixed faith blessings and same sex commitment ceremonies. For more information, please contact the Rabbi’s PA on 020 7432 1283 or by email HERE

Death and Mourning

In the event of a death, please contact our Funeral Co-ordinator, Jo-Anne Winston on 020 7432 1298. Burials or cremations, as well as evening prayers, can be arranged by LJS staff. There is a helpful booklet, ‘When Someone Dies: How to Arrange a Funeral through The LJS’, here. See also the Funerals section for more details.