Life Cycle Events

At Beth El, we recognize the extraordinary importance of life cycle events to our congregants.  They are among the very highest and very lowest points in the lives of those within our community.  We go to extra lengths to celebrate the joyous events–B’nai Mitzvah, weddings, etc., with exuberance and dignity.  We mark the sorrowful events–the passing of a loved one–with loving support and communal presence.

Prayer in Place of Mourner’s Kaddish

When a Minyan is not Present

Mourners and those observing Yahrzeit recite aloud:

Ribbono shel olam,
Elohei ha-ruhot l’khol basar
Master of the world, God of the spirit of all flesh,
it is revealed and known before You that it is my fervent desire
to praise Your name, and to remember and honor my beloved:   (father/mother/son, etc)
by reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish in the company of a minyan. 

May my presence here today with my community find favor in Your eyes,
and be accepted and received before You as if I had prayed the Kaddish.
May Your name, Adonai, be elevated and sanctified everywhere on earth
and may peace reign everywhere.

All who are present respond:

Barukh shem k’vod malkhuto l’olam va-ed.
Praised be the name of the one whose glorious sovereignty is forever and ever.

Oseh shalom bimromav
Hu ya-aseh shalom aleinu
V’al kol yisrael [v’al kol yosh’vei teiveil],
v’imru amen.

Brit Milah and Simchat Bat

Judaism provides plenty of opportunities to celebrate the birth of a son or daughter. You might choose to hold a bris here in the shul or join us for services to name your child within the community. Our facilities are here for you and you can contact our clergy for help with the process.

B’nai Mitzvah

A bar or bat mitzvah at Beth El is a precious opportunity in your child’s life — and in yours.

In their months of study, we hope your child will grow in their self-confidence, their faith, and their ability to participate in our traditions.  We also hope that your whole family will embrace this opportunity to rediscover your heritage in Judaism, and to re-engage with our community.

Our b’nei mitzvah are a truly meaningful experience, including a mitzvah project and essay. Click here for the B’nai Mitzvah handbook.


Is there any occasion more joyous than the beginning of a new family? We have facilities for both large and small weddings and can assist you with details such as finding a kosher caterer and planning the service. For more information, contact the main office at 301-652-2606 or


Our funeral guide will tell you everything you need to know about:

  • Choosing a cemetery and funeral home
  • The role of the Chevra Kadisha
  • The Jewish process of mourning

Jewish Process of Mourning

The Jewish tradition is very sensitive to the emotions and needs of mourners.  These rituals honor the deceased and offer support for mourners.  Click here to learn more about the Mourner’s Kaddish.