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On occasion I am asked to perform a naming ceremony for a newborn girl. This ceremony is referred to as a Bris Bat or Covenant of Daughters. The ceremony is embraced by Jewish families who affiliate with either the Conservative, Reform or Reconstructionist movements, and is of equivalent relevance to the Bris Mila ceremony for boys... minus the circumcision of course! There is no active (positive) requirement (i.e. Mitzvah) to perform a naming or Bris Bat ceremony mentioned in the Torah as there is for the Bris Mila, but there is no prohibition against it. Therefore, in the interest of gender equivalency and active recognition of baby girls, the Bris Bat ceremony was developed concurrently in various congregations throughout the United States. Prior to the development of the Bris Bat, a simple naming ceremony was performed in the community synagogue one week after the daughter's birth during a Friday night (Shabbat) service. The baby girl would be brought up to the bimah after her father's Aliyah (or father and mother's Aliyah, depending on affiliation) and the Rabbi would bless and name the baby in front of all the congregational members.

I encourage the Bris Bat to be performed within the family home and on the eighth day of the baby's life. It should share the significant elements of the Bris Mila ceremony of love, elegance and spiritual intimacy. If the family belongs to a congregation, I strongly encourage them to enlist the services of their rabbi for this ceremony, but if a family is unaffiliated I am honored to help them with this event. Please contact my office directly for more information about this ceremony.


Requirements for Bris Bat

 

  • 6 - 8 Large Roses - with all the petals removed and placed in a bowl in preparation for the ceremony.

  • Small cotton towel or cotton diaper to dry the baby's feet.

  • 7 tall tapered candles - preferably graduated heights (i.e. three 8" candles, two 10" candles and two 12" candles).

  • Good lighting over and in front of the ceremonial table.

  • Pre-poured Kiddush wine or Kosher grape juice for all the guests.

  • 1 or 2 small simple flower arrangements.

  • New Kiddush cup for your daughter...engraved with her name and date of birth is a classy touch.

  • Consider a simple glass to be kept for her future wedding to be broken under the Chuppah.

    Suggest ordering from: Simply Charming 800-222-9530 (item #MB302 Satin Mazal Tov bag with wine glass in white or ivory) page 18 of on-line catalog. This item is quite elegant and looks great on the table.
    (Simply Charming Web Site
    click here)

  • Any family momentos, simple heirlooms or relevant photos.

  • One special talis (if the family can find one).
    .
  • Fresh rolls of film and batteries for the cameras.

  • Consider obtaining a few extra candles of the various sizes in case one or two break during the preparation for the ceremony.

  • Consider hiring a professional photographer... it can really make a difference.
    Photographer: Lorraine Eastman (Lorraine's Web Site click here)


  • Call Charlotte Goldenberg AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
    818-996-3011

    She is the Bris Bat Certificate (naming certificate) calligrapher and she NEEDS to be informed ASAP about your daughter's name and date of birth.

    She will need: Baby's English name (first, middle & last ) Father's and Mother's name, date and time of birth and the baby's Hebrew name.
    You may Fax Charlotte with this information then follow up with a call to her office.

    FAX: 818-996-0923
    Home: 818-996-3011



  • Finally, and most importantly, every participant who lights a candle is required to say something of intimacy and relevance. Not simply the usual, "I wish the baby a long and healthy life...", we ALL wish the baby a long and healthy life!
    I encourage a much more thoughtful and personalized statement to be expressed to the baby during the ceremony. It makes a considerable difference in the tone of the experience if genuine thought was used in the development of this passage.


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