FPS offers the opportunity to celebrate important lifecycle events with the community.
If you are blessed with a baby or a child joining your family, our synagogue has beautiful ceremonies of welcome into the community and the Jewish people, such as thanksgiving after childbirth or the naming of an older child. Our Rabbi will work with the family to craft the most appropriate ritual for you.
This is a journey of learning and celebration as our young people become teenagers. We expect our families to play an active role in the life of the synagogue in the two years before the Bar or Bat Mitzvah service. The young person learns with us at Ivriah (our religion school) on Shabbat mornings and we help them achieve Hebrew reading fluency. Once a month there is family learning for the whole class, and there are occasional Friday night dinners and Saturday lunches. Our young people learn Liberal Jewish values by creating their own Tzedakah (charity) projects. About a year before the ceremony, our Rabbi will recommend a private tutor for preparing the parashah (Torah portion) and service prayers.
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 are piloting a scheme to use the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme as the framework for our social justice, volunteering and Jewish leadership skills. The young people celebrate the end of this process with a synagogue service they lead together.
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.