Lifecycle Events

Bnei Mitzvah

A boy during his bar mitzvah reading Torah portion at the sanctuary as part of lifecycle events in Temple Israel in NJ.

Marking a child’s transition to Jewish adulthood at the age of 13 is a time of pride and joy for our entire congregation, as it is for your family. Typically, the bnei mitzvah chants the haftarah and reads a small segment of the Torah portion at the Shabbat morning service. He or she may want to lead the congregation in additional parts of the service, depending on many factors, including Hebrew fluency, level of preparation, or comfort in front of crowds. There is no set formula, and each child is treated as a unique individual whose gifts are celebrated.

Children of Temple Israel members who have completed the requisite years of Jewish religious education, either at an area day school or the Northern New Jersey Jewish Academy (Temple Israel’s communal supplemental after-school program), or who have attended religious school as members of another congregation, are eligible to become bnei mitzvah at Temple Israel. There are many details to consider in the planning, in addition to what parts of the worship service your child is prepared to lead, as well as how to include non-Jewish members of your family in the rituals. Temple Israel has an extensive packet of information (updated periodically) to assist you and your child as you both approach the date of this significant milestone.


Rabbi Fine welcomes conversation with couples of all Jewish backgrounds and with interfaith couples seeking to marry. It is our objective to celebrate with all couples interested in creating a Jewish household. Temple Israel is also available as a venue for weddings and other celebrations.

As a member of the Rabbinical Assembly, Rabbi Fine may not officiate at interfaith ceremonies. However, he is happy to thoroughly discuss the parameters of what is permissible according to Jewish law. Rabbi Fine is a proud supporter of the Conservative movement’s acceptance of same-sex marriage. He was one of the first Conservative rabbis to perform a same sex aufruf and would be happy to officiate at a gay or lesbian wedding, provided both members of the pair are Jewish.

If a couple should decide to end a marriage in divorce, Rabbi Fine is available to assist in arranging for a get, the Jewish divorce proceedings.

Jews by Choice and Conversion

Is your life partner or prospective life partner Jewish? Have you been part of a Jewish family through marriage and come to love and cherish the Jewish faith? Or does something about Judaism call to you?

Temple Israel is welcoming to and encouraging of individuals on the path to becoming Jewish. Our congregation boasts many Jews by choice, including past presidents and board members. In addition, a contingent of members, some recently converted, others Jews by choice of long standing, enthusiastically completed an intensive course of study that culminated in an adult bnei mitzvah – an occasion for celebration by the entire community.

Whatever may have led you to think about becoming a Jew by choice, conversion to Judaism is a serious and exciting step in a personal religious journey. While this entails an intensive course of study of Jewish texts and traditions, leading to increasing commitment to and participation in Jewish community and observance, the timeline and options for completing the process are varied and individual. The formal conversion rituals are undertaken when an individual, in consultation with a rabbi, feels ready to officially join the Jewish people. Rabbi Fine is happy to help and guide individuals, couples, and families interested in learning more.


End-of-life rituals come at a time of tremendous stress, grief, and mourning, but their observance can be a source of great comfort and the beginning of a process of healing. Temple Israel is proud of its longstanding tradition of giving full support to mourners in the community, including our non-Jewish members and interfaith families who suffer the loss of a non-Jewish relative.

Our congregation has many resources to help you cope. Please contact Rabbi Fine, who is ready to help you through the process. Our Ritual Committee organizes prayer minyanim throughout the week of shiva to ensure that mourners feel supported by a caring Jewish community. Our Chesed Committee stands ready to provide sustenance in the form of meals and other services, as needed.

For Jewish burial, Temple Israel has made arrangements with the Beth El and Cedar Park Cemeteries in Paramus.  For further information, please contact Evan Dobkins at or call 201-466-1285.

Temple Israel also offers the opportunity to purchase memorial plaques which are displayed on the walls of our main sanctuary and lit in observation of yahrzeit. For more information on purchasing a memorial plaque, please click here.

Oneg/Kiddush Sponsorship

Sponsoring a Friday night Oneg Shabbat or Shabbat Kiddush lunch is a wonderful way to celebrate lifecycle events or other simcha, such as a birthday, an anniversary or child’s graduation. For more information and available upcoming dates, contact the synagogue office at

For complete information about ritual observance of Jewish lifecycle events, please contact Rabbi Fine at or (201) 444-9320. To inquire about renting the facility for a simcha, please email