Traditionally, in other words, the name given a child is considered to be a matter of great importance, having considerable influence on the development of that child's character. Although no codified rules exist to guide parents in the naming of their children, custom has evolved a variety of practices (minhagim) commonly accepted by Jews in different localities.Read More
BasicsJewish Newborn Ceremonies 101
Brush up on the basics of newborn ceremonies, from circumcisions to ceremonies for girls.Baby Ceremonies
What is the purpose of a ceremony of welcome, of covenant, of naming?Choosing a Name
A review of Jewish practices from the Bible to the present.Contemporary Issues
The debate about circumcision reflects religious, medical, political and psychological questions.Interfaith Families
Planning a ceremony when your family is multi-faith or multi-cultural.
What to know about this ceremony for an eight-day-old Jewish boy.History of Brit Milah
From the ancient Near East to today.Why Circumcision?
How Jewish thinkers over the ages have explained the importance of ritual circumcision.Biblical Origins
The covenant begins when God commands Abraham to circumcise himself and his offspring.The Mohel
This man or woman on the "cutting edge" of Jewish ritual, performs Judaism's oldest rite.
Ceremonies for GirlsHistory of Brit Bat
Jewish communities have had many special ways of welcoming baby daughters.Planning
Parents face many choices in preparing a welcoming ceremony and party for their baby girl.My Daughter’s Baby Naming
A mom gives a behind the scenes look at her daughter's naming ceremony.Welcoming a Daughter
An interview with the author of "Celebrating Your New Jewish Daughter."Tradition and Innovation
Combining creativity and a sense of commandedness in new rituals.
A Parent's Difficult DecisionA Difficult Rite
Circumcision reminds us of our partnership with God and the pain of fixing a broken world.Cruel and Unnecessary?
A conversation about whether the time has come to reconsider the practice of circumcision.The Circumcision Debate
While Jewish critics have arisen in modern times, brit milah is still widely practiced.Talking to Kids about Brit Milah
How should parents explain this covenantal rite of passage to their older children?Covenant of Blood
In this book, Lawrence Hoffman asks why circumcision holds such an important place in the Jewish psyche.