Lifecycle events are holy and special times at Central Reform Congregation. While we often think of lifecycle events as events that are family-centered – relevant mostly to the individuals close to the person being born, having a bar or bat mitzvah, or being remembered – they are also a part of our community’s life together. B’nai mitzvah ceremonies are held as part of our regular Shabbat morning service, so the whole congregation may share in congratulating our young people on their achievements. Likewise, Confirmation is held during a regular Friday night service. While some events are held privately, our value as a community is that, whenever possible, we will be there for each other in times of joy and in times of grief.
Welcoming a new baby into the family is such an exciting time. CRC's rabbis regularly officiate at the ceremonies used to welcome babies into the Jewish community - bris (also known as brit milah) ceremonies for boys or a baby naming ceremony for both boys and girls. The bris ceremony is traditionally held when a boy is eight days old, barring medical circumstances, and includes circumcision. Baby naming ceremonies, where the baby is given his or her Hebrew name, can be held for both boys and girls and can be scheduled at a time that is convenient for both the family and the rabbi. Both types of ceremony are a special time for friends and relatives to gather and celebrate the new child. Because our rabbis' schedules are often very busy, please give as much advance notice as possible, especially if you are planning a bris, which is traditionally held on the eighth day of a boy's life and must be coordinated with both the rabbi and the person performing the circumcision. Contact Jen Fishering at email@example.com.
Having a bar or bat mitzvah at CRC is a special and memorable experience for the student, their family and friends, and the CRC community. This important Jewish "coming of age" ritual has traditionally marked a young person's acceptance of the commandments by which their Jewish community abides. The bar mitzvah takes place after a boy has turned 13. The bat mitzvah can take place after a girl has turned 12, although some families choose to wait until she is 13.Read More
Confirmation, held at the end of 10th grade, is another opportunity for our young people to affirm their commitment and to share what they have learned about their faith and themselves with their family members and with the CRC community. CRC's Confirmation Program meets with Rabbi Susan approximately twice a month throughout 10th grade and allows students to study and determine how the Jewish traditions and values they have learned fit with their lives as young adults in the 21st century.
CRC's rabbis perform weddings throughout the year, both at CRC and at various locations around St. Louis. Our rabbis perform weddings where both partners are Jewish, interfaith weddings (both with or without a co-officiant of another faith), and weddings for same-sex couples. We do offer rabbinic officiation for members of the Jewish community who are not affiliated with a congregation. We celebrate the richness that diversity brings to our community! We will work with you to plan a ceremony that is meaningful to you, incorporating both our Jewish traditions and other rituals, readings, or elements that will make the ceremony uniquely yours. We encourage you to contact us early in your planning process for the best chance of finding a rabbi available for your ceremony. Our rabbis' schedules often fill up well in advance and we may not be able to accommodate last-minute requests or requests for a particular date. In accordance with Jewish tradition, our rabbis will not officiate weddings on Friday night, Saturday daytime, or certain Jewish holidays. An important part of wedding preparation at CRC is a series of meetings with the officiating rabbi. This is an opportunity to explore the couple's plans and work through the challenges that arise any time two lives join together, so that the wedding is just the first day in a happy marriage.
Deepest condolences if you are reading this page because you recently experienced the death of a loved one. CRC's rabbis conduct funeral and memorial services, both at CRC and at the gravesite, and will work with you to plan a service that is meaningful to you and your family. Please contact us as soon as possible after a death so we may begin planning for the service. The best person to contact is Jen Fishering, Assistant to the Rabbis, at 314-361-1565 ext. 101 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Jen will help put you in touch with one or more of the CRC rabbis. In addition, you may call Berger Memorial Chapel at 314-361-0622 or Rindskopf-Roth Funeral Chapel at 314-367-0438 for help in planning a funeral or memorial service.
People walking the mourner's path are invited to join CRC's Grief Support Group, facilitated by clinical social worker/CRC member Jamie Sentnor. Participants may be any place along the path, from the first year of mourning to years after the loss of a loved one. The Grief Support Group meets one Saturday a month, from 12:30 - 2:00 pm at CRC. All who have experienced the loss of a friend, family member, or loved one are invited to attend. Together, we will listen and learn from one another, helping to make connections and finding ways to support one another through the grief process. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with Jamie Sentnor at email@example.com. Holidays are often a difficult time of year for anyone who is missing someone who was with us in past years. Here is a resource provided by Jamie Sentor to help yourself heal during the holiday season.