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Humanistic Jewish babynamings are a beautiful way to celebrate new arrivals and a secular alternative to the traditional bris - brit milah - circumcision ritual. They are co-created with the parents to be personal and are open to celebrating diverse family culture and heritage.

Mazel Tov/Congratulations! The arrival of a child into the world, into your family, and into the Jewish family is definitely worth celebrating. The conferral of a Hebrew (or Yiddish, Ladino or other Jewish language name) has been part of Jewish baby welcoming ceremonies for many centuries; today it is its own event, separate from synagogue or surgery. Babynamings are an increasingly popular option in the Jewish world to welcome both boys and girls, and to give families the opportunity to rejoice in their new arrival. 

5 Ways Kol Hadash Does Baby Welcoming Celebrations Differently

1. Our babynamings are co-created with the parents to be personal, relevant, and  meaningful. We can include older siblings as appropriate, create space for the parents and grandparents to participate, and create a role for “guideparents” (a secular alternative to “godparents”) as well.

2. Humanistic Jewish babynamings are fully gender inclusive, egalitarian and affirming, including nonbinary options if parents so choose.

3. Humanistic Jewish babynamings are open to celebrating multiple family cultures and heritages in one ceremony. Children are equally connected to all branches of their family.

4. Humanistic Judaism does not require male infant circumcision; that is 100% a parental decision, and we are happy to celebrate all babies. For those who do want to have a formal brit milah (covenant of circumcision) ceremony along with a babynaming, Rabbi Chalom is happy to co-officiate with a mohel/mohelet (ritual circumciser) who is open to sharing the ceremony.

5. You don’t have to be a member of Kol Hadash for Rabbi Chalom to officiate a baby welcoming ceremony for your family, though there is a fee. If you do want to explore membership, our flexible Contributing Membership enables you to choose your own annual financial commitment, and life cycle celebrations are included in membership.

If you are interested in more information about our approach or would like to discuss such a celebration for your family, please feel free to be in touch with Rabbi Adam Chalom by phone (847-602-4500) or email ( 

How Humanistic Jews Welcome Children  

Mon, April 22 2024 14 Nisan 5784