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Life Cycle Events

The Jewish life is filled with milestones, and we at Temple Beth Am are here to commemorate these moments with you: celebrating the happy times such as a Bar or Bat mitzvah, marriage, or the birth of a child, as well as providing comfort to you during illness or when experiencing loss.

Click the links to see a list of Temple Beth Am Tributes, Remembrances, and Volunteer Acknowledgements for April 2018 and May 2018.

Birth

babybrisdad"Be fruitful and multiply" is the first commandment in the Torah. Our rabbis are honored to officiate at events marking the birth of your child, brit milah (ritual circumcision) for boys and baby namings for girls, who will be raised in the Jewish faith. We can put you in touch with a mohel (ritual cirumcisor) and help you understand the ceremony.

Members and non-members alike may schedule a baby naming for Friday night or Saturday morning services at Temple Beth Am. These blessings on our bimah are so beautiful and an opportunity to share your event with the greater community. Jewish and non-Jewish parents and grandparents are all invited to participate in a blessing over the next generation!

In-home baby namings and brit milah with rabbinic officiation are reserved for Beth Am members.

The rabbis are always glad to speak with you about these beginning life cycle events. To schedule an appointment, contact the Executive Assistant at 206-525-0915 x201.

B'nai Mitzvah

bnaimitzvahkidsOne of the most joyous and meaningful moments in the life of a Jewish family is the celebration of a child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Temple Beth Am B’nai Mitzvah students lead the entire congregation in the Shabbat morning prayers, chant from the Torah scroll, chant from Haftara (the Book of Prophets), and deliver a personal D'var Torah on the relevance of an aspect of the weekly Torah portion.

The very best way to learn about Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Beth Am - and to decide whether this is the best community in which to celebrate your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah - is to attend Shabbat morning services at Temple Beth Am when one or two students are called to Torah as Bar/Bat Mitzvah. For all B’nai Mitzvah information or to make an appointment to meet with the rabbis, contact our Executive Assistant by email or at 206-525-0915.

B’nai Mitzvah are celebrated by our wider community in a service that is open to all members of the congregation, guests, Jews and non-Jews, and anyone who walks through the doors. Temple Beth Am B’nai Mitzvah students attend Religious School, meet regularly with one of the rabbis, meet weekly for 6 - 9 months preceding the Bar or Bat Mitzvah with a tutor, and understand that Religious School attendance post-B'nai Mitzvah through 10th or 12th grade is the norm at Beth Am. Every B'nai Mitzvah family hosts a Kiddush lunch at temple for the entire community immediately following services.

To better understand the requirements for becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Temple Beth Am, review our B'nai Mitzvah Requirements List in the B'nai Mitzvah Handbook, which also includes a timeline for each B’nai Mitzvah task and planning information for invitations, services, and luncheon.

B'nai Mitzvah Resources

Conversion

A Jewish life is a fulfilling one, and our rabbis work with any person - member or not - who wishes to pursue conversion to Judaism. You may set up an exploration meeting with our rabbis where any and all questions are welcome. We offer an annual Introduction to Judaism class at Temple Beth Am, but our rabbis will sponsor those who have taken classes at other synagogues as well.

To work with the rabbis for conversion, candidates take an approved introduction to Judaism class, a basic Hebrew class, and then meet with the rabbi on an agreed basis for preparation towards the conversion. Our philosophy is that conversion to Judaism is a personal journey: each candidate schedules a meeting when they are ready and can complete the process in as little as six months or proceed at their own pace.

Our rabbis work on conversion in conjunction with the Washington Coalition of Rabbis and require a Beit Din, a tribunal of rabbis who interview you and affirm your conversion as well as a brit milah (circumcision) or hatafat dam brit (symbolic circumcision in cases where the male candidate is already circumsized).

To schedule an appointment with the rabbis, contact the Executive Assistant at 206-525-0915 x201.

Marriage

BreakingGlassWebEntering into holy matrimony is one of the most joyous events in a person's life. At Temple Beth Am, weddings, both straight and queer, are performed for members and their children, and we have financially accessible memberships for young households.

Our rabbis are always glad to speak with you about these beginning life cycle events. To schedule an appointment, contact our Executive Assistant at 206-525-0915 x201.

Bereavement

elderly-handsWe support our congregants in their most profound time of need. Our rabbis are available 24 hours a day to members who have experienced loss or are in extremis. The rabbis perform funerals, often meeting at home with families, and help to organize with our Religious Practices Committee any shiva minyan (mourning gathering) if requested. Members and their parents are entitled to have rabbinic officiation at Beth Am. The rabbis are also willing to help non-members find freelance rabbis if needed.

To schedule an appointment with the rabbis, contact our Executive Assistant at 206-525-0915 x201.

Gan Shalom Cemetery

Temple Beth Am owns and operates a Jewish cemetery, Gan Shalom (Garden of Peace). It is within Evergreen-Washelli’s Abbey View Cemetery in Brier (3600 Alaska Road; phone number: 425-483-0555), about 20 minutes north of the Temple. Members, as well as non-members, may be buried here. We also work with many funeral homes and will do burials in the Jewish section of any cemetery. 

CemeteryCrop

Directions

From Lake City Way:

  • Follow Lake City Way northbound, continue as it becomes Bothell Way and SR 22.
  • Turn left at 61st Ave NE at Jack In The Box.
  • Turn left on 193rd Street. (Watch for Abbey View signs.)
  • Turn right on 55th Ave NE.
  • Turn left on Alaska Road.
  • This will lead to Abbey View Memorial Park at 3600 Alaska Road, Brier.
  • Once you’ve turned into the cemetery, proceed to the top of the hill.

From I-5 going north:

  • Take Exit 178 to 236th SW and turn right.
  • At Cedar Way (also known as 44th W.) turn left.
  • At 228th SW turn right, continue past fire station and just before crest of hill turn right on 35th W.
  • At fork in road, bear right and follow 35th Ave NE to cemetery.

Purchasing a Plot
Buying a cemetery plot gives the purchaser the right on interment within agreed Temple Beth Am Jewish practices and cemetery endowment care. There is no sale of real property. Third party sales of the right to interment are allowed as long as the third party buyer meets the eligibility standards as noted in these policies. On all third party sales, Temple Beth Am has the right of first refusal at the original sales price. 

Price
The price of plots is determined by the Cemetery Committee with approval by the Temple Beth Am Board of Directors. Members and non-members will pay separate prices. Prices are available, in writing, at the Temple Beth Am and Evergreen-Washelli offices. Temple Beth Am will make some plots available for indigent member burials. The Temple Beth Am Executive Director or Rabbi will decide these matters according to the cemetery budget and other factors.

All non-discounted purchases can be paid in equal monthly installments for up to 24 months with no interest as long as the account remains current. If an account becomes 90 days delinquent or more, 1% per month will be charged and retained by Evergreen-Washelli. All purchases must be paid in full before burial. Discounted sales prices must be paid in full at time of purchase.

Upon purchaser’s request, Temple Beth Am, at its option, may refund a member’s purchase, less ten percent (10%) of the sales price.

Sales Agent
Evergreen-Washelli acts as Temple Beth Am’s non-commissioned sales agent. Evergreen-Washelli collects purchaser’s fees, writes up sales on its standard forms, credits all amounts to Temple Beth Am’s account, and routinely notifies Temple Beth Am of all transactions. Evergreen-Washelli shall charge its standard transfer of title fee to the purchaser. 

Cemetery Grounds
Plots are 3’ by 7’ and are hand dug to a depth of about four feet. No concrete liners or vaults are used. To facilitate this practice, an additional charge will be applied to Evergreen-Washelli’s standard open and closing charges. One 32” x 20” flush memorial marker is allowed on a single grave, and one 44” x 22” flush memorial marker on side-by-side graves. Two sets of cremated remains shall be allowed in a single grave utilizing a single memorial marker. Inscriptions include appropriate names, years of birth and death, and Jewish symbols. Additional writing or symbols must be approved, in writing, by the Cemetery Committee. No borders outlining the graves or private plantings are allowed anywhere within the cemetery.

Religious Burial Practices
Only Jewish clergy approved by the Temple Beth Am rabbis may officiate at burial services. The cemetery will be closed for burials during Shabbat and Jewish festival days. There will be only Jewish religious symbols in the cemetery, even within caskets. Temple Beth Am rabbis make the final determination on all cemetery religious practices.

Related Facilities
The Sanctuary of Temple Beth Am and the chapels at the cemetery are available for funeral or memorial services in accordance with established policies and fee schedules.

Records
A complete plot is maintained in the Temple Beth Am Executive Director’s office showing all graves by number and the name of the person whose remains are therein, including the dates of birth, death, and placement, or in whose name the plot is reserved.

Appeals
Any person desiring an exception to these policies may appeal to the Cemetery Committee by stating the desired deviation and reasons. Any single committee member, in conjunction with the Rabbi or Executive Director, shall carefully consider the request and its consequences before reaching a decision, which shall be final.