Conversion to Judaism is a path that requires both personal commitment and an extended period of study. Rabbi Barbara Goldman-Wartell welcomes those who would like to pursue the possibility of becoming a Jew-by-Choice. The following are part of the process of preparing for conversion: “Introduction to Judaism” course; attending services; involvement in holiday celebrations; and meetings with the rabbi. She also works with the Outreach Program at temple. The Outreach Program helps to integrate families with Jewish and non-Jewish members into the synagogue community. It provides educational opportunities and support programs. The groups also encompasse the parents of couples in mixed marriages.
The Torah commands us to circumcise our newborn sons on the eight day of their new lives. This powerful ceremony celebrates new life, and also brings our sons into Judaism’s sacred covenant. Rabbi Barbara can put you in touch with a Mohel (ritual circumciser),help the parents understand the ceremony, and co-officiate, along with the Mohel.
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. Rabbi Barbara can help you think through and design this ceremony, which can take place either at home, or at the synagogue, on a Shabbat, or any day the Torah is read (Monday, Thursday, Festivals, Rosh Chodesh).
Our students become Bar/Bat Mitzvah at the age of 13 or in the 7th grade. Preparation includes learning about Judaism, its traditions, holidays, and history. Our students lead the Shabbat service and read from the Torah for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah service. Temple Concord has a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Guide available for parents. In addition to leading worship services and reading from the Torah, b’nai mitzvah students are required to do a mitzvah project.
The URJ Press publishes two useful references:
The Art of Torah Cantillation – A Step-by-Step Guide to Chanting Torah by Cantor Marshall Portnoy and Cantor Josee Wolff
This unique, step-by-step book and compact disc package will lead the novice through each step of learning how to chant Torah. Divided into 13 lessons and additional useful appendices and bibliography, the book allows the reader to ‘self-teach’ the important principles of Torah cantillation. The only pre-requisite for this course of learning is a basic ability to read Hebrew and a willingness to learn! Includes CD of corresponding recordings.
Making it Count: Guidelines for Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah
This guide is designed to help you make the most of your Jewish journey. Focusing on the values that are most important in our tradition, you will explore together what commitments you can make to bring these principles to life. Judaism has a lot of special wisdom to offer, but only you can make it real.
The confirmation year, 10th grade, represents a special time of celebration and commitment. The year includes study with the rabbi, culminating in a special service, held during Shavuot since that holiday commemorates the receiving of the Torah by the Jewish people. The confirmation class at Temple Concord is for 10th graders and meets weekly. It follows two years of study in eighth and ninth grade in the Kollel program. The curriculum of the class is studying Jewish issues relevant in their own personal lives. In the last few years, Rabbi Barbara has taken each confirmation class to the Religious Action Center in Washington DC.
Rabbi Barbara can help you prepare for this wonderful, joyous occasion, by teaching 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. We also counsel you, offering Jewish wisdom in preparation for a life dedicated to love and companionship. We also work with you in designing the ceremony, providing our knowledge and experience.Very often weddings are held in the main floor of the mansion. The photo to the left shows a wedding party along the main staircase.
The Kilmer mansion is available for rentals for events such as weddings, business meetings, private parties, bar/bat mitzvahs. To learn more about our facility, you can check out our new Facebook page or click here to jump to the “Our Facility” sub page of our website.
The Jewish traditions related to death and mourning are intended to recognize death as a part of life. The traditions of preparing the body, sitting shiva (a seven-day period of mourning immediately following a funeral), saying Kaddish (prayer for the dead) and observing the yahrzeit (anniversary of a death) guide Jews through a difficult period. These familiar customs and rituals provide for mourning, grief and re-emphasizing the true nature of life.
After the funeral the family usually sits shiva for three to seven days. Friends and family come to their home to offer condolences. The period of sheloshim last for a month. It is during this time the mourners slowly get back to their routine. Mourning is restricted to a period of one year. The Kaddish prayer is said by the mourning for the first 11 months, on the anniversary of the death, and at Yizkor service in the synagogue. A yahrzeit candle is lit for the seven days of mourning as well as on the anniversary of the death and on the anniversary of the death and on the evenings before we say the Yizkor service. Temple Concord has a Caring Community Committee which tries to attend to the needs of the family. This Committee also prepares the meal of consolation.
Cemeteries in Broome County
There are four Jewish cemeteries in Broome County. Two are owned and run by Temple Israel (one is for interfaith couples, the other is for TI members). One is owned by Congregation Beth David. The fourth is independent–Westlawn.
West Lawn Cemetery Association, incorporated in 1895, owns and operates the West Lawn Cemetery, a not-for-profit Jewish cemetery located on Burbank Avenue in Johnson City. The Westlawn Cemetery is not affiliated with any area congregation. Plots are available to any member of the local Jewish community. All interments have to be with the assistance of an area congregational Rabbi. More information may be obtained by calling Ron Sall at 607-427-7780.