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Life Cycle

Being part of a community means being joyous with you at the peaks—the births of children and grandchildren, professional accomplishments, and celebrating marriage. It’s also about being sensitive through life’s transitions—loss of a loved one, divorce, the empty nest, moving to assisted living, caring for an aging parent, or being touched by illness. We are here to support you at every stage and every milestone. As you experience personal connections and community events at Temple, you will discover that acceptance and warmth are at the heart of who we are.

Purchase a simcha plaque so the community can celebrate with you!

Welcoming a Child into the Jewish Community

Shortly after birth, we formally welcome new children into the Jewish community by conferring upon them a Hebrew name. We joyfully observe this occasion for our Temple Beth El members at Friday evening services or in-home ceremonies at other times. We also encourage and invite non-members to celebrate this occasion with us and their families during our Friday evening services. Please contact Rabbi Prosnit for further information on this exciting moment in the life of a young family.

B'nai Mitzvah

At age 13, our children become b'nai mitzvah (plurah of bar/bat mitzvah) during our Saturday morning services. Our students lead worship, chant from the Torah scroll, recite haftarah (a chanted selection from the Prophetic books of the Hebrew bible), and off a d'var Torah (mini-sermon) on one aspect of the Torah portion of that week. We take pride in our students who display maturity, excitement, and competency as they come to the bimah to celebrate this important life-cycle event.

Click here for resources for current b'nai mitzvah students.


Temple Beth El’s 10th–12th graders are invited to participate in confirmation, an experience affirming one’s faith and commitment to Judaism as a Jewish adult. The confirmation service is typically held on the Friday evening before Shavuot, a holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Students attend the confirmation retreat and three rehearsals and offer the recitation of the Ten Commandments at a Shabbat service they create with Temple Beth El’s clergy. Interested confirmands should contact the director of lifelong learning at


It is the height of joy to welcome two people to celebrate their new marriage with us. Young or older, straight or LGBTQ, they come under the chuppah, partake of the wine, exchange vows and rings, break the glass, and join their lives in marriage. For more information, please contact Rabbi Prosnit.


Conversion, or gerut, is a transformative, structured, and challenging, process that takes at least one year. On this journey, students study Judaism, participate in the life of Temple, and develop their own expression and commitment to our faith.

End of Life

Purchase a Memorial Plaque as a dedication to your loved one.

As part of the Jewish life cycle, we venerate those who have imbued our lives with meaning and purpose. When our loved ones pass away, we respect their memories by calling together a congregation, offering a memorial service and eulogies on their behalf, standing by the mourners, and helping them move toward the resolution of their grief. Our funerals and memorial services offer solace to the bereaved, and provide our community with a comforting transition to a new era in their lives. Madison has a number of different burial options for members of the Jewish community, and, through Temple Beth El, its members can avail themselves of public or private funerals, shivah minyans, and memorial services for their loved ones. For more information, please contact Rabbi Prosnit.


July 16, 2024 10 Tammuz 5784