We Welcome Your Family to be a Part of Our Community
At The Jewish Center, we seek to create a nurturing community that strengthens our members' knowledge and observance of Judaism. Interfaith families are an important part of The Jewish Center that enrich our congregation. We welcome every member of the family to be a part of our services, programs, classes and conversations. We value an interfaith family’s commitment to creating a Jewish home and raising their children to be learned and engaged Jews. We want to share our Jewish traditions, culture and practices with you. Whether you are seeking personal connection or you want to support your family’s development, we are here for you.
We realize that there are issues that may be unique to interfaith families. We hope you will be in touch with us to discuss any interfaith issues important to you so we can do all that we can to meet your needs. We look forward to these conversations.
Rabbi Adam Feldman
Individuals and Interfaith Families in our Community...
- Our Religious School, Tichon Program and related family programs are open to all members of the congregation.
- Adult Education Classes are open to all members. Programs are frequently announced in the newsletter and weekly e-mail.
- All members of the congregation are welcome to join Jewish Center Women and the Men’s Club. These groups provide a wide array of social, educational and tzedakah charitable/social action related opportunities and promote a strong sense of community.
- All adult members of the congregation are encouraged to serve on our committees.
- According to Jewish Center policy, Religious Honors in our Services, Board of Director positions and voting at the annual congregational meeting are reserved for members of the Jewish faith.
Shabbat and Holidays
- We welcome everyone to join us for our Shabbat services and holiday programs. Congregational Friday night services are held at 6:30 p.m. and our Saturday morning services are at 9:30 a.m.
- The people who accept honors in our service (Torah Honors and Ark openings) and lead parts of the service are seen as representing the congregation and fulfilling our Jewish obligation; therefore these honors are reserved for only adult members of the Jewish faith.
- Becoming a Bar and Bat Mitzvah is celebrated as part of our Shabbat Service. All guidelines for honors on Shabbat also apply to the Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremony.
Life Cycle Events
Birth of a child
Jewish tradition celebrates the birth of new babies with certain rituals for the family and the community. At The Jewish Center, these rites of passage apply to all children born to a Jewish mother or a child who has converted to Judaism through a process acceptable to our Rabbis. Conversion at The Jewish Center for an infant requires boys to have a Brit Milah and for all babies to be taken to a mikvah supervised by Rabbi Feldman.
- Brit Milah (circumcision) for baby boys takes place on the 8th day either at home or in the synagogue. A mohel performs the ceremony and will coordinate parent participation. For more information or to contact our local mohel, please be in touch with Rabbi Feldman
- Simchat Bat (Naming ceremony) celebration for baby girls. At The Jewish Center, a Simchat Bat takes place at the Torah on Shabbat morning. Both parents participate in the naming ritual at the Torah. All grandparents, both Jewish and non-Jewish are asked to stand in their place during the ceremony.
Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah
Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah at the age of 13 marks the transition from childhood to adulthood by celebrating with family and friends on Shabbat at the synagogue. We welcome all parents to participate on the bimah at the points in the service that 1) marks their child becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah by presenting the Tallit at the beginning of the Torah service and reciting the Shehechyanu prayer; 2) their child is called to the Torah for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah aliyah; and 3) standing with their child before the Ark for the blessing from the Rabbis and Cantor.
All grandparents, both Jewish and non-Jewish are acknowledged by name during the Bar/Bat Mitzvah by asking them to rise in their place and wishing them mazel tov.
As mentioned under “Shabbat and Holidays,” Torah Honors and Ark openings are reserved for adult members of the Jewish faith.
Following the guidelines of the Conservative Movement, our Rabbi officiates at the wedding ceremonies of couples who are both of the Jewish faith. We understand that there are many challenging religious decisions that are unique to interfaith couples and our Rabbi is available to guide these couples in making their decisions. Rabbi Feldman is happy to discuss the details of both the wedding and the marriage with the couple and/or their parents and can provide useful resources based on your needs.
End of Life Issues
Rabbi Feldman wants to be a source of support and counsel for the members of interfaith families when the time comes that they must face their own impending death or that of a loved one. At The Jewish Center, we are sensitive to the fact that interfaith families often have unique questions regarding end of life issues. He is available to answer your questions, as well as provide information about local funeral homes and cemeteries.
- Rabbi Feldman is available to be involved in a non-denominational funeral service for non-Jewish members of the congregation if that is the wish of the deceased or their family. These services may take place at a funeral home or graveside. A funeral service may only be held in The Jewish Center sanctuary if the deceased is a Jewish member of the congregation or a Jewish relative of a member of the congregation.
- Members of the Jewish faith are obligated to observe Jewish mourning rituals including shiva and reciting the Mourner’s kaddish. While not obligated to do so, non-Jewish family members may choose to observe the same mourning rituals regardless of the religion of the deceased. Our Rabbis provide support to family members in mourning and are available to lead a shiva minyan.
- Our Rabbi is precluded from officiating at a funeral service when the family of a non-Jewish congregant decides to follow the funeral and mourning rituals of another religion.
- Cremation is prohibited by Jewish law. As such, our Rabbi Feldman will not officiate at the service of anyone who is to be or has been cremated.
We encourage you to reach out to one of our rabbis or leadership with any questions you may have regarding your family's participation in communal life at The Jewish Center.