Mazal tov on the birth of your daughter! We at Temple Sinai would love to help you introduce her into the Jewish community through the official bestowing of a Jewish name.
in Europe, generally name their children after relatives who have passed away. Sefardi Jews – those whose roots are in the Middle East or North Africa, generally name their children after living relatives. The rabbi will be delighted to help figure out an appropriate Jewish name.
Traditionally a baby girl is named at a Torah reading shortly after her birth. The ceremony involves either one parent or both parents receiving an aliyah, the opportunity to recite the blessings over a segment of the Torah reading for that service. Immediately following that reading, the rabbi or cantor recites a prayer naming the child. The baby need not be present for the ceremony, although the occasion is certainly enhanced by her presence.
Torah readings occur every Monday and Thursday morning as well as on Shabbat morning and Shabbat afternoon. It is traditional for the family to sponsor the Kiddush following a Shabbat morning service, or to provide the traditional 3rd meal after the Shabbat afternoon service. The rabbi can help you find an appropriate date on the synagogue’s calendar for the ceremony.
In recent years a second ritual for naming a baby girl, known as Zeved ha-Bat or Simhat Bat, has been developed. This ritual is often carried out in the family’s home and involves readings and prayers chosen by the parents for this special occasion, in consultation with the rabbi. Grandparents and other relatives and friends can participate in the ceremony as the parents and rabbi develop the service which will be unique for this newborn. Though this ritual requires some pre-planning, many families find the experience very meaningful. Consult with the rabbi for ideas.
Please call Temple Sinai for information: 845-343-1861