Life Cycle Events

Temple Emanuel celebrates many Life Cycle Events with our members and their families.  We hope to be there for you in times of special Simchas and also in times of sorrow.  These events are the natural evolution from birth to death and often times are a central part of every Jewish family.  As a benefit of Temple Emanuel membership, our Rabbi will be happy to assist you or provide any guidance or counseling you may request.

B’rit Milah

The Torah commands us to circumcise our newborn sons on the eighth day of their new lives. This powerful ceremony celebrates new life and brings our sons into Judaism’s sacred covenant. Our Rabbi can put you in touch with a Mohel (ritual circumciser),help the parents understand the ceremony, and co-officiate, along with the Mohel.  In modern times, family doctors also can perform the circumcision.

Baby Naming/Simchat Bat

We celebrate the great blessing of a newborn daughter with a ceremony that brings her into the covenant, and confers upon her a Hebrew name.  Jewish babies are given Hebrew names shortly after they are born. Usually, a brief ceremony is performed, which often includes family members of the new baby.  If you or your child never received your Hebrew name, there is always an opportunity to perform this ceremony either in private or during a special Shabbat Service.

Bar/Bat Mitzvahs

In the Jewish faith Bar/Bat Mitzvah students move from childhood to adulthood usually around the age of 13 for boys and 12-13 for girls.  Bar Mitzvah means “Son of the Commandment.” Bat Mitzvah means “Daughter of the Commandment.”  And B’nei Mitzvah is the plural, meaning “Children of the Commandment.”

Our children may begin Hebrew School and preparations for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah in the 2nd or 3rd grade with Alef Hebrew.  As the children progress through Bet, Gimel and finally Dalet Hebrew classes they not only learn how to say the Hebrew blessings, but also the meanings of each blessing.  Our Rabbi does a very nice job structuring each program individually to lend to each child’s strengths.  If you missed your Bar/Bat Mitzvah at these early ages, Temple Emanuel also has B’Nei Mitzvah classes for adults who wish to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah either separately or within their class. 

The Temple and the Rabbi have been very flexible and creative when it comes to planning each of these individual events.


Our Rabbi can help you prepare for this wonderful, joyous occasion, by teaching the bride and groom the meaning of the ceremony, from Ketubah (marriage document), to Kiddushin (Engagement) to Huppah (Marriage Canopy) to Nissuin (marriage ceremony) to breaking the glass.  You may also receive counsel if desired, offering Jewish wisdom in preparation for a life dedicated to love and companionship.  Temple Emanuel welcomes any Jewish couple the opportunity to become married in our Sanctuary as members, no matter what your sexual orientation. 


Our tradition offers several powerful end of life rituals – Kriah (tearing of a garment or wearing a black ribbon), Levayah (funeral procession), Hesped (eulogy), Kevurah (burial) and Shiva (up to seven days of mourning often times observed fewer days in the Reform movement). Our Rabbi will meet with you on these and other rituals to create a meaningful end of life experience for you and your family.  The Rabbi can also perform the funeral ceremony, the eulogy and help you understand and implement other important Jewish mourning practices. 

Temple Emanuel has the great privilege and honor of maintaining our Jewish cemetery, Mt. Nebo Cemetery, established in 1851.  Members can obtain information about finding their eternal resting place at Mt. Nebo by calling our Temple office on  563.326.4419 or by emailing the Temple Office

Temple families in mourning may decide to hold a Meal of Condolence in the Social Hall following the funeral service and interment.  Our Temple Secretary will be happy to assist you with planning these details.