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Brit Milah & Baby Naming and Pidyon HaBen

The birth of a new baby is a joyous occasion. In the Jewish tradition boys are welcomed with a brit milah (circumcision) and girls have a simchat bat (baby-naming).

Adath Israel proudly celebrates the addition of children to all types of Jewish families, including many families who adopt or whose child is born through surrogacy.

At both a brit milah and simchat bat, children receive a Jewish name chosen by their parents. Ashkenazi Jews often choose to honour deceased relatives by giving their name to a new child. Parents are encouraged to choose Jewish names that are the same as or similar to the English name. Our clergy is happy to assist you in choosing a fitting Jewish name.

Brit Milah
Brit Milah, the covenant of circumcision, dates to the Torah itself and ties a newborn baby boy to God, to his roots, and to Jewish men worldwide. A brit milah takes place on the eighth day of life, except when medical complications require a delay. A seudat mitzvah (celebratory meal) follows the brit milah.

Parents should contact one of the Adath Israel approved mohalim (ritual circumcisers) either before or right after the baby’s birth to make arrangements for the brit milah.
•    Dr. Aubie Diamond at Home: 905.889.2517 / Cell: 416.573.3582
•    Dr. Mark Greenberg at 416.661.0004 or 416.702.8990
•    Dr. Aaron Jesin at 416.635.5012

Please contact the synagogue office if you would like to hold the brit milah at the synagogue. Whenever possible, our rabbis would be delighted to participate in the service as well.

Simchat Bat
Baby girls are given their Hebrew name as part of the Torah service at the synagogue. Torah reading takes place on Shabbat morning and afternoon as well as Monday and Thursday morning. The Torah is also read on holidays and the beginning of a new month. Families are encouraged to name their daughters as soon as possible after birth.

Either parent can receive an aliyah to the Torah, after which one of our rabbis will address the family and give a special blessing proclaiming the baby’s name. Other family members are welcome to celebrate by also participating in the service. A seudat mitzvah (celebratory meal) follows the simchat bat.

Our clergy will happily assist you in expanding upon the naming ceremony whether at the synagogue or in another location.

Pidyon HaBen
On the 31st day of life, a first born baby boy is celebrated through the mitzvah of pidyon haben, redemption of the first born. In this ceremony, the newborn is symbolically redeemed by the father by paying a Kohen five special coins.
There are many first born boys for whom pidyon haben is not a mitzvah, including boys who are themselves kohanim or levi’im or whose materal grandfather is a kohen or levi. Our rabbis are happy to discuss with you the mitzvah of pidyon haben and help you make the appropriate arrangements for this beautiful ceremony.

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Bar/Bat Mitzvah

The B’nai Mitzvah experience provides an opportunity for your child to learn about Jewish traditions with our Rabbis, to become familiar with their specific Torah portion/parshah with their tutor and to participate in our B’nai Mitzvah Club program where they explore Jewish identity, Tikkun Olam and social responsibility. This is a special and meaningful time in our families’ lives and that of their children. The Adath Israel team can guide your family through it all.

If you would like more information regarding booking a Bar/Bat Mitzvah at Adath Israel please contact Nancy Goldstein, Director of Lifecycle Events at 416.635.5340 x 313 or

Click HERE to download the B’nai Mitzvah Handbook.
For a flip version, please click HERE.


The Yiddish word “aufruf” means ‘calling up’. Traditionally, it has referred to the ritual in which the groom is called to the Torah for an Aliyah on the Shabbat prior to the wedding. It is an occasion to honour him before this very special moment.

However, in our day, it has become an opportunity for both the bride and groom to come up on the bimah for a special blessing (misheberach) in recognition of their upcoming simcha. It is also possible for either the bride or groom to have an Aliyah to celebrate their impending wedding and for them and their family to share in the joy together. An aufruf can take place on any day the Torah is read; Monday or Thursday mornings, Rosh Chodesh (the start of a new Hebrew month); and Shabbat.

If you would like to book an aufruf, please contact Nancy Goldstein, Director of Lifecycle Events at 416.635.5340 x 313 or


Adath Israel Congregation is pleased to welcome individuals who are considering becoming Jewish to our community. Those interested in converting should visit to learn about the Introduction to Judaism course offered by the Rabbinical Assembly – Ontario Region. Rabbis Cutler and Seed both mentor individuals seeking to convert. If you would like to discuss the journey to becoming Jewish or are interested in having an Adath Israel rabbi serve as your mentor, please contact the rabbi of your choice.

Rabbi Adam Cutler

Rabbi David Seed


Celebrating Your Wedding at Adath Israel and with our Spiritual Leaders

The rabbis and cantors at Adath Israel Congregation are thrilled to help you celebrate your wedding! We look forward to partnering with you in making your special day everything that you imagine it to be.
Adath Israel is a beautiful venue at which to celebrate your wedding. Synagogue members as well as non-members are welcomed to host their celebrations at the synagogue. Adath Israel clergy are also available to officiate at other locations.
In accordance with Conservative Jewish practice, both partners must be Jewish and if previously married must have completed a Jewish divorce.

Picking a Date
Jewish weddings take place at almost any time, though there are some restrictions. Weddings may not take place
•    On Shabbat or major Jewish holidays
•    Between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av
•    During the first 32 days of the Omer period

Adath Israel clergy happily officiate alongside other rabbis and cantors. Please let us know of co-officiants, so proper arrangements can be made.

Weddings at Adath Israel
 Ceremonies at Adath Israel typically take place either in the Main Sanctuary or in the Donnenfield Chapel. The synagogue has many beautiful chuppahs for your use or you may provide your own. The synagogue is proud to have multiple caterers who each provide excellent food of varying styles and price-points.

Toronto Community Mikvah
Our congregation is a member of the Toronto Community Mikvah. It is a wonderful resource available to all of our members. Please visit the website to learn more about the Mikvah and the role it can play in your lives. Mikvah – it isn’t only for conversion and marriage.

Click HERE to learn more.

Tue, 16 April 2024 8 Nisan 5784