An indispensable “how-to” guide for creating lasting memories and special ceremonies as you welcome your new Jewish daughter.
When a son is born, every Jewish parent knows what ceremony will welcome him into the community and signal his part in the Jewish people—the brit milah. What to do when a girl is born? How can you welcome your new daughter in a truly Jewish way, and celebrate your joy with family and friends? In the past, parents who wanted a simchat bat (celebration of a daughter) ceremony for their new daughter often had to start from scratch. Finally, this first-of-its-kind book gives families everything they need to plan the celebration.
History & Tradition—The roots of simchat batin Jewish tradition, how it has evolved, and how the past can be used to bring today’s dynamic ceremonies to life. A How-to Guide—New and traditional ceremonies, complete with prayers, rituals, handouts to copy, and step-by-step instructions for creating your own unique ceremony. Planning the Details—What to call your daughter’s welcoming ceremony, when and where to have it, setting it up, how long it should be, how to handle the unexpected, how to prepare a program guide, and more. Ideas & Information—Practical guidelines for planning the event, and special suggestions and resources for families of all constellations.
While the brit milah (circumcision) ceremony welcomes baby boys into the Jewish community, no similar standard celebration exists for baby girls. Cohen, a journalist, introduces and collects welcoming ceremonies that have been invented over the past 30 years, unearthed from Jewish communities around the world and adapted from other rituals. The challenge of the simchat bat (celebration of a daughter), she says, is that its innovative nature "extends to each of us the opportunity to compose the ceremony that feels best suited to our family's needs." To guide parents, grandparents, rabbis and cantors, Cohen has compiled an array of prayers, readings, blessings, songs and rituals that concretize the child's entry into the community. Hebrew texts are accompanied by translations and transliterations. Complete sample ceremonies include Sephardic, Orthodox, humanist and a "modern mikvah ceremony" in which the child is immersed in a vessel representing the traditional ritual bath. The ceremonies that work best, Cohen notes, are rooted in modern poems and songs as well as classical elements of Jewish liturgy. This resource will guide families at one of the most joyous moments of their lives.