Birth: Brit Milah And Namings

Brit Milah (the “Covenant of Circumcision”)

The Torah commands us to circumcise our newborn sons on the eighth day of their lives. This ceremony brings them into Judaism’s sacred covenant of Abraham and Sarah. It is usually held in the home or the synagogue and is performed by a trained Mohel (ritual circumciser). Our rabbi will be happy to recommend one of the Mohalim in the Washington D.C. area. The Rabbi can also participate in the Brit Milah with the mohel by reciting the “mee she-bayrach” and bestowing the Hebrew name on the baby during the ceremony.

For additional information please contact Rabbi Werbin.

Babynaming for Daughters

We welcome girls into the covenant of Abraham and Sarah through a naming ceremony usually held on Shabbat mornings at the synagogue. Members of the family are invited to participate and the Hebrew name is bestowed by the Rabbi at that time. On occasion a Simchat Bat (Celebration of the Birth of a Daughter) is held at the family home or at the synagogue on a day other than Shabbat.

For additional information please contact Rabbi Werbin.

Bar/Bat Mitzvahs

At Kol Shalom Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies are held for both boys and girls at the age of 13.  Our B’nai Mitzvah program is introduced in the Parent’s Handbook for Bar and Bat Mitzvah families. The material is discussed in detail at an introductory meeting held with the rabbi one year prior to the ceremony. We also include the “100 Questions” review; a set of questions designed to help our students (and their families) prepare educationally for this important Jewish moment in their lives.

If you have questions or if you would like to schedule your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah in 2024 or 20254, please contact Rabbi Werbin.


Our synagogue community warmly welcomes those who wish to join the Jewish people. We participate in several different conversion classes throughout the D.C. area. If you are interested in exploring the conversion process, please do not hesitate to contact the Rabbi. It is a requirement of all the Basic Judaism-Conversion classes that students have a rabbinic sponsor. In addition to the weekly group class, there are meetings with the Rabbi to discuss the individual concerns and questions of any prospective convert. Please know that many of our most active members, in both synagogue and communal life, are “Jews by Choice.”

There is a requirement of Milah (circumcision) and Mikvah for male converts and Mikvah for female ones. The Rabbi will make arrangements for the Beit Din (Jewish Court) to oversee the final process.

For additional information please contact Rabbi Werbin.


We are always delighted to be notified of an upcoming marriage and to announce it in our Newsletter. If you are a couple wishing to schedule a wedding date in the synagogue, please contact the Rabbi and Executive Director. The Rabbi will also preside at weddings outside the synagogue.  Rabbi is not permitted to officiate at dual faith marriages though we do fully acknowledge and welcome dual faith families into our community. Same sex marriages may also be scheduled at Kol Shalom. On a Shabbat preceding the wedding, the couple is invited to the bimah at morning services for an Aliyah in honor of their upcoming Simcha. (This ceremony is known as an Aufruf). Family members are invited to participate as well.

For additional information please contact Rabbi Werbin.

Death And Mourning

In the event of a death, Rabbi Werbin should be contacted immediately to set the date and time of the funeral. Kol Shalom has a section in the Judean Gardens cemetery in Olney, Maryland and cemetery plots are available for purchase through the synagogue office.  We offer a number of services for the bereaved through our Chevra Kadish and Chesed Committees. Our men’s and women’s Chevra are available to prepare the deceased for a traditional Jewish burial through the process of “Taharah” i.e. preparing the deceased by washing and shrouding the body.

For additional information please contact Rabbi Werbin.