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To make a donation in honor of a special occasion, or in memory of a loved one, click here:
For annual notification of Yahrzeit for a family member, please register here:
Find, create, and share Jewish rituals here: 

Life Cycle

Community happens when we come together to mark the joys and sorrows of lifecycle events.  Such occasions remind us of the vital role we each play as participants in co-creating and sustaining Jewish community.  To this end, we welcome and encourage you to contact our office if you are thinking of marking a personal milestone or family lifecycle, whether it be welcoming a new baby, celebrating an adoption, thinking about conversion to Judaism, celebrating a bar/bat mitzvah, planning a wedding, marking an anniversary, healing from an illness, mourning a death, commemorating a yahrzeit, or any other important life transition.  A wonderful resource for exploring Jewish lifecycle rituals is


Bar/Bat Mitzvah

At a small congregation like Beth El, a bar or bat Mitzvah is a special day. Our B’nei Mitzvah program challenges each of our bar and bat mitzvah students to step more fully into the tradition she or he is inheriting, while helping each student create a service that reflects his or her unique self in the context of that tradition. 



Our Rabbi works with couples and officiates at weddings for members of the congregation and their families, as well as for couples from out of the area who will be getting married in Vermont, whether in Beth El’s sanctuary or in outside venues. We proudly officiate at same-sex ceremonies. 



Congregation Beth El maintains a men’s and women’s hevre kaddisha (burial society) to help families and assist in carrying out the ancient rites around the loss of a life in the Jewish tradition, including taharah (ritual washing and dressing of the body) and shomrim (sitting with and accompanying the body) in the hours before burial. Our Rabbi officiates at funerals both for members of the community and non-members.



Congegation Beth El maintains a beautiful and peaceful Jewish cemetery and meditation garden at Park Lawn Cemetery in Bennington. For more information about cemetery plots and policies, click on the CBE Cemetery webpage link, or contact our office.



In Judaism, it is a mitzvah to mark the yahrzeit (anniversary of the death) of our loved ones each year. Marking a yahrzeit honors the person’s memory and helps us feel connected to them in our ongoing path of mourning and remembering.  Customs for marking the yahrzeit of a love one include:


  • reciting the mourner's Kaddish during services on the preceding Sabbath. If you contact us a week in advance, we will make every effort to ensure we have a minyan for Kaddish. 

  • sponsoring a kiddush in a loved one's memory. 

  • lighting a special 24-hour candle at sundown on the eve of the yahrzeit. Contact us if you would like to pick up a yahrzeit candle from the office. 

  • making a contribution in memory of the deceased. 


If you wish to receive an annual yahrzeit reminder from Beth El, please visit our online Yahrzeit Registry.


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