Holiday Celebrations & Ceremonies
Kol Shalom celebrates holiday and Jewish life cycle ceremonies as cultural expressions of the cycles of both nature and human life and of events in Jewish history. Using language that is true to our humanistic approach, we feel free to adopt traditional observances that we find meaningful, to adapt others, and to create new forms that meet the needs of present generations. At the same time, we strive to create a setting that is welcoming and appealing to our diverse Jewish and intercultural members. Our chorus, the Music Makers, enhances and enlivens many of our gatherings.
Each fall Kol Shalom welcomes the Jewish New Year with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur celebrations. We light up the dark winter days with a joyous Hanukkah celebration for the entire family. In the spring we celebrate the Passover freedom story with a community Seder. Our Shabbat celebrations are held regularly throughout the year and foster community, reflection and joy. Each Shabbat service focuses on a particular theme followed by an oneg or sweet repast. We also hold Havdalah potluck dinners in members’ homes for an evening of good food, good talk and friendship. Please check the online calendar for scheduled holiday and Shabbat celebrations or contact the Kol Shalom office for more information.
Life Cycle Ceremonies
Kol Shalom lifecycle ceremonies reflect our humanistic values while honoring cultural and family traditions. Ceremonies are created in partnership with the celebrants to honestly and meaningfully reflect our beliefs and incorporate desires of the celebrants. Kol Shalom members count among them lay-leaders experienced in creating and leading lifecycle ceremonies, as well as one member who is a Madrikha (Secular Humanist Leader ordained by the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism.) Please contact the Kol Shalom office to contact an officiant or ceremonial leader for your lifecycle celebration.
- Baby Naming Ceremonies honor both boys and girls and may be held during a Shabbat service or in a home.
- Our two-year Mitzvah Program leads to a community B’nai Mitzvah celebration. Note: include link to the mitzvah program.
- Wedding Ceremonies are traditionally inspired and personalized. We use non-theistic, egalitarian language to honor the commitment of the marriage partners to each other.
- Funeral and Memorial Services are presented as a celebration of life offering meaningful readings with time for family and friends to share thoughts and memories. Kol Shalom is a member congregation of the Jewish Cemetery at River View. See here for more information concerning the cemetery.
- An Adoption Ceremony is available for those intercultural persons interested in becoming part of the Secular Humanistic Jewish family.
Kol Shalom welcomes the ideas and participation of all members in the creation and implementation of our holiday and life cycle ceremonies. Kol Shalom can also provide an officiant for wedding, baby naming, B'nai Mitzvah, and memorial life cycle events. Please contact the Kol Shalom office: 503-459-4210 or Email us for more information.