Life Cycles

Welcoming Babies

We are excited to celebrate the newest addition to your family!

Traditionally, Jewish boys are circumcised and given a Hebrew name on the eighth day after their birth during a brit milah ceremony. For information about engaging a mohel, please contact Executive Secretary to the Clergy Susan Galla at 948-2800 x112. Be sure to contact the mohel and/or clergy before setting the date for the brit milah.

Births of daughters are celebrated either by naming the child at the Torah (usually on Shabbat morning), or by holding a simhat bat ceremony, at the synagogue or at home, to formally welcome the child into the Jewish covenant and community.

For more information about planning your brit milah or simhat bat, please contact Executive Secretary to the Clergy Susan Galla at 948-2800 x112.

B’nai Mitzvah

Celebrating this joyful milestone marks an important moment for your child and, indeed, for your entire family. At Temple Israel Center, we view the B’nai Mitzvah experience as a multi-year journey that we hope is enriching, filled with learning and growth.

Formal preparation begins one year prior to the date of your simha and includes meetings with our Cantor, assigning you one of our experienced tutors, meetings with one of our Rabbis, and a series of community building opportunities as your day draws near.

For information about B’nai Mitzvah, please contact Cantor Shoshi Levin Goldberg at 948-2800 x125.

For information about catering and event planning, please contact Director of Events Alla Fine at 948-2800 x 111.

Marriage

Sasson v’Simha, joy and happiness! That’s our wish for all who have found their life partner.

As you begin to plan for your wedding, our clergy is here to guide you through the many beautiful customs and rituals to consider. To schedule a meeting with our clergy or for more information, please be in touch with Executive Secretary to the Clergy Susan Galla at 914-948-2800 x112.

Divorce

Divorce can be a very difficult time. Rabbi Tucker can provide counsel and help you arrange for a proper get proceeding, which will respect the dignity of all parties. In Jewish law, a civil divorce is not sufficient to terminate a validly contracted Jewish marriage. A get (religious bill of divorce) must be written and delivered. Please be in touch with Rabbi Annie Tucker at 914-948-2800 x115.

Support During Illness

Committed to the value of bikkur holim (visiting those who are ill), our clergy is available to speak or meet with congregants and their families in times of illness. In addition, active volunteers in our Hesed Circle can make arrangements for visits, rides, meals, or offer other practical help. Our goal is to build a web of loving kindness that reaches all members of our community.

During morning minyan and every Shabbat and holiday, we recite the misheberah blessing, a prayer for those in need of healing. If you would like to add a name to the mishaberah list, which includes the full Hebrew name, please contact Executive Secretary to the Clergy Susan Galla at 914-948-2800 x112.

End of Life, Funeral, Mourning, and Unveiling

We are here to provide support, comfort, and guidance in the event of grave illness and end of life. Our clergy team will guide you through the process of making funeral arrangements.

In the event of a death, please call or email Executive Secretary to the Clergy Susan Galla at 914-948-2800 x112. After regular business hours, please call or email Rabbi Annie Tucker at 914-948-2800 x 115 or call the main office at 914-948-2800.

For guidance around Jewish mourning rituals, including shiva (the first seven days of mourning), sheloshim (the first 30 days), unveiling (when a gravestone is dedicated), and yahrzeit (the yearly anniversary of a death), please reach out to our clergy.

Notifying the Community

When we are informed about the death of a Temple Israel Center family member, a condolence email is sent to the community as soon as possible. Information about funeral arrangements and funeral plans will also be sent if desired. To notify us of a death, please call or email Executive Secretary to the Clergy Susan Galla at 914-948-2800 x112.

Funeral Chapels

Temple Israel Center maintains an association with several funeral chapels in the New York area. Please contact Executive Director Marty Greenberg at 914-948-2800 x119 for more information.

We encourage you to speak with one of our rabbis first before contacting the chapel. A time for the funeral should not be set until the officiating rabbi has been consulted.

Should a death occur over Shabbat or a major Jewish holiday, it may not be possible to reach the rabbis until Shabbat or the holiday ends. Tradition requires that arrangements should properly be made only after the Shabbat or holiday is over.

Shiva and Shiva Minyanim

Our clergy team will guide and support you in arranging for shiva and shiva minyanim. Shiva chairs and prayer books are available upon request, if shiva is to be observed within the synagogue’s general vicinity.

Please contact our clergy team regarding shiva and shiva minyanim.

Active volunteers from our Hesed Circle can also provide support during shiva.

Cemetery

Temple Israel Center maintains sections in two local cemeteries, Sharon Gardens Cemetery in Valhalla, NY, and Glenville Cemetery in Greenwich, CT, for the purchase of burial plots by synagogue members. Members in good standing may purchase burial plots in the Temple Israel Center sections of these cemeteries. Only people of the Jewish faith may be interred in a Temple Israel Center cemetery plot. For more information, please contact Executive Director Marty Greenberg at 948-2800 x119.

Choosing Judaism: Conversion

The decision to convert to Judaism is a significant and life-changing event. This meaningful process consists of exploration and study and culminates in a ceremony that officially welcomes and recognizes the person as a member of the Jewish community.

Courses appropriate for conversion candidates are available both in New York City and in Westchester. They require a significant commitment of time, study, and experiential learning. Rabbi Annie Tucker will be able to direct you to the one that is appropriate for you.

Temple Israel Center houses its own mikveh, at which the final stage of the conversion process can be fulfilled, after all the study and other requirements are done, and a lived commitment to Jewish practice is evident.

For more information, please contact Rabbi Annie Tucker at 914-948-2800 ext. 115.

Mikveh

The Brandt Family Mikveh (ritual bath) welcomes members of Temple Israel Center and the broader community to participate in an ancient Jewish tradition in the comfort and warmth of our unique facility. We are the only Conservative synagogue in Westchester with a mikveh.

Immersion in a mikveh is used in a variety of ways to mark spiritual transformations and physical transitions and cycles. It is also used to enhance spiritual readiness for Shabbat and major holidays. Immersion in the mikveh is a requirement for converts to Judaism of all ages.

Immersion in the mikveh is a private experience that can be spiritually uplifting and enriching. We encourage the use of the Brandt Family Mikveh for both traditional and creative purposes: to mark major life cycle events as well as other personal milestones and transitions.

Members of the mikveh committee are available to answer any questions you may have regarding preparation. For more information or to set up an appointment, please contact the mikveh committee at 914- 948-2800 ext.116.  All calls and emails are confidential.