Lifecycle & Pastoral Care

Legend teaches that every blade of grass has an angel bending over it, whispering, "Grow, grow!" (Midrash Rabbah, Bereishit 10:6; Zohar, part I, 251a).

As we emerge into creation like seedlings, mature into saplings, age into trees, and then fall and return to the earth which birthed us, every one of us is accompanied throughout our life by God's presence. At Shaaray Tefila, we mark the ages and stages of growth through Jewish tradition, honoring the wonder of our development, celebrating joyful moments, and grieving loss.

Our life cycle ceremonies draw from ancient texts, binding us to earlier generations; they also evolve along with the ever changing landscape of our time. Some rituals are familiar. Brit milah (bris) and baby namings celebrate the arrival of a child. Adolescents ascend our bima to mark becoming B'nei Mitzvah (learn more about becoming B'nei Mitzvah at Shaaray Tefila »). We marry beloveds and bury those who have passed away. But some of us crave prayer and ritual at other significant moments in our lives - as we move into a new home, struggle with infertility, terminate a pregnancy, suffer a miscarriage, become an empty-nester, retire, divorce, celebrate milestone wedding anniversaries, and more. Our clergy are available to provide support during such moments and will explore ways to help you hear the voice of your angel, whispering encouragement as you grow.

FOR INFO ON JEWISH LIFECYCLE CUSTOMS & RITUALS, VISIT REFORMJUDAISM.ORG »


We Are Here With You

We are here with you - through your simchas and your sorrows. Whether welcoming a new addition to your family, mourning a loss, celebrating an engagement or wedding, or navigating a moment of difficulty or change, please share with us what's happening in your life so that we may support you, connect you to your Jewish community, and help you mark this moment.

SHARE WITH US »
If you are experiencing a lifecycle emergency, please call us at 212-535-8008.


We Have Space for Your Lifecycle Event

We have rental spaces available for lifecycle events such as weddings, a bris or baby naming, and other family celebrations.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR SPACES & POLICIES »