From Cradle to Grave
A naming ceremony for a new baby is a very moving family occasion and we are happy to arrange this on members’ behalf. We can also assist with putting you in touch with a progressive mohel to perform a brit milah and help with practical arrangements.
Cheder (Religion School)
Details of forthcoming sessions are on our cheder page.
The cheder meets fortnightly on Saturday afternoons, in very attractive premises in Marchmont. We have enthusiastic teachers in Norman Crane, Nancy Lynner, Wendy Crane and Joanna Bleau. Children can attend from age 5 upwards.
Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah
Preparation for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a big commitment to Jewish learning for the young person and his or her family. Prospective B’nei Mitzvah are expected to have attended cheder for the preceding years. But as the date approaches extra support will be needed. This will consist of sessions with the rabbi during his visits as well as support from parents or from other members who will help the young person to conduct part of the service on the big day.
We are also happy to provide similar support to adults who, for whatever reason, did not have such an event at the usual age. Our community has already held two such services: one Bar and one Bat Mitzvah.
We are fortunate to have the benefit of Rabbi Mark Solomon’s extensive Jewish knowledge. During his visits he holds meetings to discuss Talmud or other sources in members’ homes or at one of our venues. Topics range widely and often lead to heated discussions. Times and places vary according to his other commitments during his visit.
Elementary Hebrew classes, aimed mainly at those attending the Introduction to Judaism classes for prospective converts are also open to members. In the past we have held more advanced classes, but we don’t at present have a teacher to lead these.
Marriage and civil partnerships
Our rabbi (Mark Solomon) is authorised by the Registrar General for Scotland to officiate at Jewish marriages, and as such has the automatic authority to conduct legal marriages in Scotland. Both partners must be Jewish (see later section on Jewish Identity). Where only one partner is Jewish our rabbi may be willing to participate in a mixed faith marriage blessing, but this will need to be preceded by a civil wedding.
Liberal Judaism has also developed an appropriate Jewish ritual for same sex commitment. While these ceremonies are a reflection of our inclusive nature, they have no status in either Jewish or civil law, and must be preceded by the civil ceremony. Mixed faith blessings for civil partnerships are also possible.
We can provide a burial service for our members through William Purves Funeral Directors. The Community can make or assist with all necessary arrangements, including the ritual of taharah (ritual washing).
We have reserved plots in the new part of the beautiful Dean Cemetery, with an entrance on the corner of Queensferry Road and Dean Path. Our plots are at the far end surrounded by trees.
We can also arrange cremations through the Co-op and the subsequent burial of ashes in one of our cemetery plots. The funeral service will usually take place at the crematorium.
Arrangements can be made for members of the same family to be interred in the same plot or an adjacent plot, space permitting. A non-Jewish partner can be buried in the same plot as a Sukkat Shalom member.
Can be obtained from burials@ eljc.org, or by phoning the community on 0131 777 8024 and leaving your name, number and a message making it clear that you have an enquiry about burials. A member of the burials committee will return your call.