Consecration is the ceremony that celebrates our children’s Jewish learning as a holy endeavor. When they begin their formal education in the synagogue, kindergarteners, new first graders, and their parents participate in a ritual that dedicates the students to Jewish learning for all time. Consecration at Congregation Beth Torah, which is a lifecycle ritual about dedication, is celebrated as close as possible to Chanukah, our holiday of dedication. Children and parents prepare at a Sunday morning Family School, learning songs and creating Torah covers for the miniature Torah scrolls they receive during the ceremony. The Consecration ritual occurs during Sunday morning Family Worship at the Weiner Religious School. Parents, grandparents, friends, and other relatives join our regular Sunday morning crowd to pray, sing, and witness our youngest students and their parents declare the Shema and dedicate themselves to the righteous study of Judaism. A unique aspect of Consecration at Beth Torah is the participation of our 10th-12th grade Confirmation students. As parents and children stand in a circle on the bima, our Confirmation students unroll a Torah scroll and “wrap” the Consecration families in Torah. The symbolism of our older students welcoming and embracing our younger students through the words of Torah is one aspect of Consecration that makes it a favorite ritual for all members of the congregation!
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