Welcoming & Raising Children

We greet each child with affection and joy. Every baby comes to us full of promise and potential. As parents, we are privileged to welcome them into our families, our communities and the embrace of the Jewish people. Raising children to adulthood, we encounter many milestones along the way. Children are weaned, lose their teeth, and start school. Some get their driver’s licenses and eventually leave home for good. Here are rituals for welcoming children and for celebrating the milestones on their paths to adulthood.

A Ner Nishamah

By Lori Lefkovitz and Rabbi Lenny Gordon
Lighting a candle, symbolic of the new soul born into the world. Can also be used like a yahrzeit candle to recall the departed soul for whom the baby is named. Also a covenantal symbol.   more
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Some couples wrap the baby in a tallit, perhaps the one used as their chuppah, as a symbol of covenant. Others do so as a symbol of welcome   more
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Tags: covenant, tallit

Anointing with Breast Milk

By Alexandra Volin Avelin
Excerpted from an original babynaming ceremony in which the baby is welcomed into the covenant by anointing her with breast milk.   more
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Tags: covenant

Blessing the New Parents

By Rabbi Alissa Wise
Blessing to be recited by the officiant to the new parents at the welcoming ceremony   more
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Awakening the Senses

A new ritual in which the infant is offered something to stimulate each of her senses   more
Ritual Component