Host your Life Cycle Event
To learn more about hosting your Life Cycle event at Temple Beth Israel visit our facility rental or call the TBI office at 559-432-3600.
Sponsor an Oneg/Life Cycle
Oneg means “joy” is the refreshment that congregation shares after Friday night service.
The oneg allows us to share in the blessing of Shabbat and build and care for our community by offering us an occasion to gather on a regular basis. Sharing tasty food together helps us find space to connect to each other; adults reconnect with friends and meet new people in an unhurried way; children can grab a snack and play with friends. What better way is there to end the week?
Sponsoring or co-sponsoring a Oneg is a wonderful way to recognize or celebrate an event — Bar Mitzvahs, anniversaries, Simcha, Yahrzeit, or simply because it’s Shabbat! We try not to make this process hard if you would like to sponsor a oneg give us a call at 559-432-3600. If you have any questions, please email Debra (put in e-mail address here) Please refer to the following documents to help plan a oneg:
Birth, Baby Name, Brit Milah
For synagogue members, arrangements can also be made for the service to take place at the family’s home. For more information, please contact us: 559-432-3600.
We recognize that Bar and Bat Mitzvah is an important event in the life of a Jewish child and his/her family. For this reason, we endeavor to make the process of becoming b’nai mitzvah as enjoyable and personally meaningful as possible. Our students meet individually with both the b’nai mitzvah tutor, who is also our Education Director, and the Rabbi. Students are encouraged to choose their own section of Torah to read, as well as their favorite songs and prayers for the service. Our goal is for students to be challenged enough to feel the pride of accomplishment, without being so stressed that they cannot enjoy the process.
B’nai Mitzvah dates are set in the January of the year prior to the b’nai mitzvah year. B’nai Mitzvah candidates are expected to continue their Hebrew and Religious studies throughout the preparation period, as well as to continue in Hebrew School through Confirmation.
Check out the TBI Youtube page for B’nai Mitzvah prayers.
We are delighted to celebrate your love and partnership with you! To schedule your wedding ceremony with our Rabbi, please email Rabbi Rick Winer. Couples traditionally receive a blessing (auf ruf) from Rabbi Rick before their wedding ceremony. If you’d like to schedule the auf ruf, or hold the ceremony or reception at our social hall, please contact the TBI office at 559-432-3600.
Planning a Jewish wedding includes several pre-marriage meetings with Rabbi Rick to discuss the ceremony and the couple’s future together.
It is popular to make a contribution in a couple’s honor, such as to the TBI’s Dor L’Dor Fund.
For information on conversion please call TBI office at 559-432-3600.
Funerals & Mourning
Shiva Minyan Information
Attending a shiva (mourning ritual) is a mitzvah (commandment). The mitzvah is to go to a house of mourning, to comfort the bereaved, and to assure that there will be a minyan of ten people to recite the Kaddish (memorial prayer). Performing this mitzvah is one of the highest honors a person can do for another in our community. It is not necessary that you know the deceased or the mourner for your presence to help in comforting the mourners as they grieve and heal. The focus of a person attending a shiva minyan is to provide comfort and support for the mourner.
The rabbis are very clear that a visitor’s main job is “being there” for the mourner. A visitor is not expected to say anything because there are no appropriate words to be said. It is traditional to bring food, either prepared by you or store bought. Food represents life, and we embrace and talk of life in the face of death. It is not traditional to bring liquor, candy, or flowers. In addition it is customary to make a donation (tzedakah) to a charity in honor of the person who has passed away.
Just walk in
Do not ring the doorbell. The front door of most shiva homes will be left open or unlocked, eliminating the need for the mourners to answer the door.
Take food to the kitchen
If you are bringing food, take it to the kitchen. Be sure to put your name on a card or on the container so that the mourners will know you made the gift.
Find the mourners
Go to the mourners as soon as possible.
What do you say?
The tradition suggests being silent, allowing the mourner to open the conversation. It is appropriate to offer a hug, a kiss, or handshake.
If you do want to open a conversation, begin with “I’m so sorry” or “I don’t know what to say. “Speak about the deceased, because one of the most powerful ways to comfort mourners is to encourage them to remember who they have lost. This can be done by recalling a personal memory of the deceased.
Do not tell people not to cry or that they will get over it. Crying and being sad is an integral part of the normal grieving process. If a person cries, your job is just to be there with them you are not expected to say anything.
Participate in the service
If a prayer service is conducted, participate to the extent you can. If you do not know the service, sit or stand respectfully while it is in progress. Often times the rabbi or leader will invite people to share memories about the deceased, do not hesitate to share one, even if it is somewhat humorous. The entire purpose of shiva is to focus on the life of the person who has died and his or her relationship to the family and friends in that room.
Talk to your friends
You may see other friends and acquaintances at a house of mourning. You might be tempted to shmooze about sports or politics, but always remember the purpose of the shiva is to comfort the mourners. You are in the home to be a member of the community and the most appropriate topic of conversation is the deceased. Recall your memories about the deceased and share them. If you feel tempted to engage in small talk, don’t judge yourself; just remind yourself why you are present at the shiva.
Leaving a Shiva House
When you are ready to leave, you may want to wish the bereaved good health and strength, comfort, and other blessings.
After the Shiva
Check in with the mouner; after some months have passed, ask the mourner how he or she is feeling. Ask about a memory of the deceased.
*adapted from My Jewish Learning