Ritual

Ritual marks moments of transformation.  Whether it’s a wedding or a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a naming of a child in the loving embrace of community, or a unique ritual created to mark a personal moment of transformation, you will find an open heart and wise guidance at Ruach haMaqom to create the ritual that you seek.


Weddings

The joyful experience of a wedding can also be a time of stress and the seemingly endless to do list!  Working with the couple (and sometimes members of the family), Rabbi Jan will help to create a wedding that, while grounded in the beautiful tradition of Jewish weddings, provides opportunities  to be creative and make this moment your own. Weddings can take place in our sanctuary, or at a location that you choose.  In order to encompass the whole spectrum of getting married, Rabbi Jan provides pre-nuptial counseling as well as venue, caterer, and musician suggestions. Rabbi Jan is available to perform interfaith weddings as well.

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We are still basking in the glow of our wedding weekend. Thank you for being such a special part of it!
— JR, Vermont
 
It was a magical evening - made all the more special by your leading of the service. You were fabulous! I couldn’t be more delighted with the ceremony.
— Mother of JR, Vermont

Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah

Bringing a child through the ritual of Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a powerful reminder that l’dor va dor ('generation to generation') is alive and well our community. Working with the child and family, Ruach haMaqom can support this journey in many ways: tutoring in order to chant from the Torah scroll; studying and deep discussion that will form the basis of the child’s d’var Torah (commentary); working with other family members to be part of the service, including chanting from the Torah; and creating a liturgical service that is grounded in tradition yet innovative in a way that meets the needs of the family.  Learning takes place in a family-based model, with the whole family engaged in making this event come alive and transformative.

 
Words cannot express my gratitude and love for you….there was literally not one minute of that service that wasn’t meaningful, heartfelt, resonant and downright beautiful! Guest after guest told me that it was the best Bat Mitzvah they had ever been to. Your voice! Your energy! Your joy! Palpable at all times.
— RR, Plainfield, Vermont
 

Baby Namings and Brit Milah

Our hearts overflow with joy at the birth of a child, and how much more so, when we mark their entrance into the greater Jewish lineage. Brit Milah is encouraged for boys, and if you need to discuss this ancient ritual, Rabbi Jan is well experienced in facilitating what can be a difficult and challenging conversation for some new parents.  Ideally, these conversations take place before the child is born, so that you can be focused on the new baby without conflict. 

 

Death and Dying

During the delicate and sacred time surrounding someone’s dying and death, we come together as a community to support and care tenderly for each other. Ruach haMaqom has burial plots available in a near by cemetery, and the rituals of lovingly bathing and dressing the deceased, known in Hebrew as tahara, is available through the Chevre Kedisha Society.  Rabbi Jan is available to travel to other burial sites in the event that your loved one has made plans to be buried elsewhere. Simple graveside services as well as funeral services in our sanctuary are available. We can conduct shiva services in your home or at our synagogue.


Conversion

Are you interested in converting to Judaism?  Rabbi Jan welcomes the opportunity to work with you to make this process meaningful, instructive, and engaging.


Other Ritual Needs

Have you just finalized a divorce?  Or completed a course of study and are embarking on a new career?  Or perhaps you just feel the need for a ritual of renewal and transformation. Rabbi Jan is eager to discuss with you the many possibilities for rituals. This might include a mikva (ritual bath) which can happen in lake, ponds, streams, or more traditional indoor bath.