Life Cycle Events

Much of being Jewish is in how life’s milestones are observed. Sinai’s clergy and staff serve all members in ensuring these events are marked well – and meaningfully.

Baby Naming

Our Jewish tradition rejoices when newborn children enter our world.  We celebrate these gifts of new life through special ceremonies, which include bestowing a Hebrew name on newborns.  Baby Naming ceremonies, as well as Brit Milah ceremonies, may be scheduled with our Rabbis, and can be held here at Chicago Sinai Congregation or also in a family home.  We are delighted, when scheduling allows, to share these wonderful ceremonies with young families who have not yet joined a synagogue.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah

To us at Sinai, becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a choice—not a requirement—for a young person and his /her family. Our young people who do celebrate this ritual have found their B'nai Mitzvah services vital and meaningful to their spiritual growth. Families and friends experience these services as beautiful and moving.     To learn more about the service and preparation


Marriage in our Jewish tradition is the act of elevating a relationship to sacred status; our Hebrew work for weddings, Kiddushin, means “to make holy”.  At Chicago Sinai Congregation, we are delighted to work with couples—couples of the same sex or of different genders, interfaith couples or those where both partners were born Jewish—towards that special ceremony where they mark their lives together as sacred through our wedding rituals.Our Rabbis relish the opportunities to develop lasting relationships with couples, and approach preparing for a wedding ceremony with that goal in mind.  While the rituals of Jewish marriage have deep roots, no two wedding ceremonies at Chicago Sinai Congregation [or those at which our rabbis officiate in the City of Chicago] look alike.  

Our rabbis spend time with couples learning about their relationships, their families of origin, their religious sensibilities, and their love for each other.  Together, implementing those traditional rituals that work for the couple and often incorporating others, the rabbi works with a couple to design a unique and personalized ceremony.  We are delighted that so many of the couples married by our clergy maintain strong connections to them as their families continue to grow.

Chicago Sinai Congregation welcomes all couples to celebrate their sacred union. We were the first Jewish congregation in Chicago—and, in 1982, one of the first in the nation—to perform interfaith weddings and to welcome interfaith couples with full membership. That practice, we remain convinced, made broader acceptance of interfaith families the wider reality it is today.  Of course, we extend the same rights and privileges of wedding rites to couples in the LGBT community.

The Passing of a Loved One

The death of a loved one is the most difficult passage in life for those left behind. Sinai's clergy find it meaningful to be present for our member families at such a difficult time.  Our clergy works with our families to fashion meaningful funeral services whether they are held in our sanctuary, our chapel, at a funeral home, or at the graveside.  At these sorrowful and powerful times, we strive to provide perspective and comfort to our friends in mourning.

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