The Torah commands us to circumcise our newborn sons on the eighth day of their new lives. This powerful ceremony celebrates new life, and also brings our sons into Judaism’s sacred covenant.
Our Rabbi will officiate in your home (or anywhere) on the eighth day, and can put you in touch with a mohel. We have Reform mohalim and mohalot who are certified by the Reform movement. They are medical professionals (M.D.s, nurses, or midwives) who are licensed to do the surgical part and are trained in the ritual aspect. Before making arrangements with a mohel or mohelet, please check with our Rabbi to make sure they are on his approved list.
Baby Naming/Simchat Bat
We celebrate the great blessing of a newborn daughter with a ceremony that brings her into the covenant, and confers upon her a Hebrew name. Our Rabbi can help with this ceremony, which can take place either at home or at the synagogue.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah students are moving from childhood to adulthood, from learning to be responsible to being responsible. As son or daughter of the commandments, you commit yourself to be proud membership in our ancient people.
Every aspect of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah service is directly handled by Rabbi Cashman: setting the date, choosing the portion, checking on the learning on a weekly basis, overseeing the writing of the D’var Torah, rehearsing the service including reading from the scroll.
Consult our Bar/Bat Mitzvah Manual for complete information about setting a date, prerequisites, requirements, expectations, and possibilities.
A meeting with parents of 5th graders is held each year to go over the details.
- Dates are set a minimum of 12 months away, maximum 24 months.
- Students lead the service, chant Torah and Haftarah, and deliver a d’var Torah.
- Pulpit sheet
- Publicity form
- Guidelines for parental speeches
- Torah blessings (aliyah)
Rabbi Cashman is happy to meet with any couple who is seeking counsel prior to marriage, whether or not he is to be the officiant at their wedding ceremony.
Couples may make appointments to:
- Seek input about a Jewish wedding ceremony
- Get general pre-marital counselling (issues in communication, building a new life together, etc.)
- Discuss handling life together as a mixed religion household and the challenges that may present.
Rabbi Cashman officiates at funerals of members that are held in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, or Greene Counties. Our Caring Community will ensure that a minyan is present for funerals and for minyanim at shiva.
Members are encouraged to speak with the Rabbi at any time about pre-planning a funeral.
If his schedule permits, our rabbi may consider officiating at funerals of people who were not members. The Capital District Board of Rabbis sets honoraria for these.