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Life Cycle

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Kol Ami is a Kehilah K'doshah, a sacred community, which lifts up the joyous moments of our lives and helps us through the challenging times. From welcoming children into the Jewish community through Brit Milah and Brit Bat, to guiding young adults as they become B'nai Mitzvah, to celebrating the sanctification of relationships under the chuppah, we celebrate life cycle moments together as an embracing extended family. Please contact us to let us know about your upcoming simcha!

The Kol Ami community is also here to provide support for those confronting illness, loss, and other of life’s trials. We strive to surround those in need with comfort, support, and strength. Please see our Chesed Committee page for more information about how our community members support one another in times of need

 

CELEBRATING NEW LIFE

As a community, we welcome new babies into Jewish life through the ceremonies of Brit Milah and Brit Bat.

Brit Milah (the “Covenant of Circumcision”) is performed traditionally on the eighth day of life. It can take place in the home, synagogue, hospital, or doctor’s office, and is performed by a trained Mohel. In Reform Judaism, all Mohelim are trusted physicians who have been trained in the religious and spiritual side of the ritual. Rabbi Streiffer often officiates alongside our mohelim.

Brit Bat (the “Covenant of a Daughter”). In Reform Judaism, a strong dedication to egalitarianism dictates that girls be welcomed into the world and into the covenant with an equally beautiful and meaningful ceremony. The ceremony of Brit Bat welcomes a baby girl through joyous ritual and blessings. It is often performed on the eighth day of life, comparable to Brit Milah, or within the first month of life. 

Are you expecting a baby? Mazal tov! Please contact Rabbi Streiffer or the Kol Ami office to discuss the appropriate ceremony. One of the best resources on the subject of Jewish babies is The New Jewish Baby Book by Anita Diamant.

 

BAR/BAT MITZVAH

At Kol Ami, Bar and Bat Mitzvah are a joyous community celebration! Our students become B’nai Mitzvah on the bima during Shabbat morning services, surrounded by family, friends, and many supportive members of the congregation. They have the honour of leading a portion of the Shabbat morning service, chanting from the weekly Torah portion and Haftarah, and delivering a D’var Torah, a sermon on the Torah portion.

In the months leading up the “big day,” our B’nai Mitzvah students have the chance to work one-on-one with talented tutors who guide them in mastering the art of trop, or Torah cantillation. They also work closely with our Rabbi in researching and crafting a top-notch D’var Torah.

At Kol Ami, as in most Reform congregations in North America, both boys and girls are called to the Torah at age 13.

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CONFIRMATION

Jewish learning continues beyond B’nai Mitzvah! Each year, our Grade 10 students participate in a meaningful and enjoyable course of Jewish learning culminating in their leading Erev Shavuot services together as a class.

 

UNDER THE CHUPPAH

The Jewish wedding ceremony is a unique celebration of love. Through blessings and rituals, the ketubah and the chuppah, it celebrates the commitment made by the two partners and the family that they create together.

Kol Ami's sanctuary is a beautiful, intimate venue for weddings, and our rabbi is available to officiate marriages at other locations around the GTA as well. When members of the community are married, they are often called to the bima for an aliyah on the Shabbat preceding the wedding. This joyous tradition, called aufruf, allows the community to celebrate your upcoming marriage as well.

The Kol Ami community welcomes and celebrates the marriages of same-sex Jewish couples, and our rabbi is available to perform such ceremonies. Our community is also quite embracing of interfaith families. Rabbi Streiffer is available to talk through the options available to interfaith couples, and to offer counsel on your upcoming wedding and the home you plan to create.

For all the information you could ever need about Jewish weddings, Rabbi Streiffer recommends starting with The New Jewish Wedding by Anita Diamant.

 

END OF LIFE

In moments of loss, Kol Ami is an embracing and supportive community. Funeral ceremonies are a dignified and fitting memoriam to the lives of our loved ones. The observance of Shiva is arranged through our Chesed Committee. Our congregants support one another by attending Shiva, providing meals, and bringing comfort into the lives of those who mourn. Please contact the Kol Ami office to find out about funeral and burial arrangements.

Mon, October 23 2017 3 Cheshvan 5778