Please click on the relevant links (through to the United Synagogue website), which provide information about Brit Milah and what a Pidyon Haben is.

Baby blessings in BES

An annual baby blessing service is held on a Sunday in January for all babies born in the previous year.

Shalom Zachor (for baby boys)

Shalom Zachor translates as 'Welcoming the male' and is an informal gathering which takes place in Ashkenazi Jewish circles on the first Friday night after a baby boy is born. The get-together is treated as a happy occasion, and takes place after the Friday night meal, usually at the home of newborn. Light refreshments are served, congratulations are conveyed, and songs may be sung welcoming the newborn and thanking God for the birth.

Simchat Bat (for baby girls)

Simchat Bat translates as 'Celebration for the daughter' and is a modern ritual for naming infant Jewish girls.

In traditional Ashkenazi Judaism, the father is called up in shul either the next time the Torah is read in synagogue (Monday, Thursday or Shabbat) or on the first Shabbat after the daughter is born, and the name of the daughter is announced.

However, in recent years many Ashkenazi Jews have developed the Simchat Bat celebration which typically consists of a communal welcoming, a naming done over a cup of wine with the quotation of appropriate biblical verses, and traditional blessings.

For more general information, please visit the Births section of the United Synagogue website, as well as Tribe, the United Synagogue Youth organisation, which offers a free baby gift pack.

Mother's bracha said immediately after a Brit or the first time she's in shul after a birth: Barukh ata ado-nai elohei-nu melekh ha-olam ha-gomel le-cha-yavim to-vot she-ge-ma-la-ni kol tov