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
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
Requirements for Bris
- 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
- 7 tall tapered candles - preferably graduated heights
(i.e. three 8" candles, two 10" candles and two 12"
- Good lighting over and in front of the ceremonial
- Pre-poured Kiddush wine or Kosher grape juice for all
- 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
- Any family momentos, simple heirlooms or relevant
- One special talis (if the family can find one).
- Fresh rolls of film and batteries for the
- Consider obtaining a few extra candles of the various
sizes in case one or two break during the preparation for
- Consider hiring a professional
photographer... it can really make a difference.
Photographer: Lorraine Eastman (Lorraine's Web Site
- Call Charlotte Goldenberg AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
She is the Bris Bat Certificate (naming
certificate) calligrapher and she NEEDS to be
informed ASAP about your daughter's name and date of
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.
- 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.