Brit Milah/Baby Naming Ceremony

Mazel tov on becoming a parent!    Either of our Rabbis or the Cantor would be very happy to speak with you, either in person or by phone or zoom, to discuss a bris or a naming ceremony.  There are many possibilities!  To schedule a conversation with one of our clergy, please contact Audrey Okaneko in the Temple office, 805-964-7869 x13 or

Here are a few ideas, questions, and resources to help you begin thinking about a “welcoming” ritual for your child:

  1. The ritual of brit milah, or “covenant of circumcision” of a son on the 8th day of his life, is the oldest commandment in Judaism, going all the way back to Abraham, the founder of our religion.
  2. We in Santa Barbara are extremely fortunate to have a member of our Jewish community, Dr. David Raphael, who is a skilled and respected physician and a deeply committed Jew, with decades of experience as a mohel (the person who performs the circumcision).
  3. In the old days, there was no ritual to welcome a baby girl into the Jewish covenant, but now there are many wonderful, creative and meaningful ceremonies to choose from, or from which you may create your own.
  4. In recent years, many Jewish parents have wrestled with the question of whether or not to circumcise their son. It is not an easy decision to perform this surgery on your baby, and it was never meant to be easy!  Ultimately, of course, the decision is yours…the parents.  But our clergy are available to listen to your concerns, to help you understand the tradition, and to offer gentle and non-judgmental suggestions for how you might reach your decision.

There are many excellent on-line resources for those who want to learn more about brit milah/circumcision, and Jewish baby-naming.  Here are two outstanding websites to get you started.

And remember, our Rabbis and Cantor are here to discuss with you, to share their own feelings, and to help you make the right choice for your family.