Judaism counts time and pays attention to the life of a person by pausing and marking moments. We believe in celebrating these passages of time. At FPS we follow the traditional events, and some a little more unique.

Baby Blessings

For those choosing a Brit Milah for their baby boys we recommend the Liberal Mohel Dr Howard Cohen http://www.mohel-circumcision.co.uk/. Dr Joshua Plaut is another Progressive Mohel and has written an helpful essay on the process and ritual: https://www.reformjudaism.org.uk/reform-judaism-in-1000-words-brit-milah/

Rabbi Rebecca will talk this through more and tries to be available to join you for this moment.

We love to hold welcoming Baby Blessings in our Shabbat services for both boys and girls in the community. Please be in touch with Rabbi Rebecca rabbi@fps.org.

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Bar/Bat Mitzvah

We mark the coming of age Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremony after our young people have turned 13. The ceremonies are the same for boys and girls. It is a two-year process, with occasional modifications.

Ivriah, our religion school has a two year learning process for our 12/13 year olds. They are Kings and Queens of our school and have a more ‘tweeny’ learning journey than the younger children. They study Hebrew and prayers for the service, alongside developing their understanding and engagement of Judaism and in particular elements and values of Liberal Judaism. They learn with their parents once a month in the BM Family Learning session. This is a required and expected part of the BM journey for all families. At least a year before a date will be booked and confirmed with Rabbi Rebecca.

10 months before the ceremony the young person will begin their personal tuition with our fabulous BM tutor. This 1-2-1 learning is invaluable and sees a strong relationship grow with this alongside the learning.

We have Friday night Dinners, Shabbat lunches and meet ups for the children. This is a strong community experience.

The young person will demonstrate Liberal Jewish values by creating their own Tzedakah (charity) project in honour of their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. The parent(s) will work with Rabbi Rebecca and their child to prepare the ceremony and be part of the Shabbat service.

Families and their young people always love this coming of age.

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Kabbalat Torah

Liberal Judaism is committed to two years’ learning after Bar/Bat Mitzvah, in which the group learns Jewish leadership skills and cements their bond together. We use the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme as the framework for our social justice, volunteering and Jewish leadership skills. In the first year of KT we travel to join other Kabbalat Torah groups from across the UK, and in the second year of KT we go to Amsterdam for a long weekend.

The young people celebrate the end of this process with a synagogue service they lead together.

Conversion

Liberal Judaism welcomes those who want to learn and commit to Judaism. Conversion generally takes a year of study alongside attending services. This culminates in an interview with the Liberal Beit Din (three sympathetic rabbis) and visit to the mikveh (ritual bath) to mark a new stage of Jewish life. The curriculum covers Jewish calendar and festivals, life cycle events that build a Jewish life, and important Jewish texts, from the Torah to contemporary Jewish thinking. We equip our conversion students with prayer-book Hebrew and the historical context of Jewish experience through the generations.  Liberal Judaism is careful to honour the background, family and experiences of all those converting. Circumcision for men is encouraged but is not obligatory. Please contact our rabbi if you are interested.  

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Marriage, Commitment Ceremonies and Mixed Faith Wedding Blessings

Our Rabbi will officiate at marriages in the synagogue or travel with the couple (and chuppah!) to a designated venue. This is a major event in the life of a partnership and Rabbi Rebecca will get to know the couple well in order to create the best ceremony for them. The couple are required to have a full year's synagogue membership (for more information click here). We are proud to offer same sex wedding ceremonies as well. 

Rabbi Rebecca also leads Mixed Faith Wedding Blessings.  

         

Our Synagogue Memorial Garden

End of life

We support the grieving and honour the dead in every way we can. Our rabbi will accompany members and families through the often difficult anticipation of death.  She is the first port of call in case of death, along with Liberal Judaism’s Funeral Directors Michael King.  Rabbi Rebecca will officiate the funeral and the first night of shiva (memorial prayers) if you’d like them.

Our synagogue membership includes a burial scheme and a funeral scheme – being part of both of these ensures that you do not pay anything when someone dies. For more information about these schemes please contact Pauline on pauline@fps.org .

 

 

Something else to celebrate?

We believe in marking much more…

  • Blessing Students Going to University

  • Rabbi Rebecca will join you in affixing your mezuzah and a personal dedication of your home, Chanukat HaBayit.

  • Blessings for recovery form an illness.

Be in touch pauline@fps.org.