Judaism 101

Want to feel confident walking into a synagogue, seder or shiva? Start with our Judaism 101 video collection.

Brit Bat: Jewish Traditions for Welcoming a Baby Girl

While there are no specific ancient traditional rituals for welcoming a baby girl into the community, many families have found ways to fill that void. Watch the video to learn about some of the new traditions involved in a Brit Bat.

Brit Milah: Jewish Traditions for Welcoming a Baby Boy

The Brit Milah (or ‘bris’) is a sign of a baby boy’s covenant with G-d. Watch the video to learn about finding a mohel, what a Brit Milah is all about, and some popular modern spins on this ancient tradition.

Traditions of Jewish Baby Naming

Some expectant parents spend literally years picking out baby names and others figure it out in an instant when they see their new child for the first time. Judaism has a lot to say about names and choosing the right one. Watch and discover!

HaYom Yom Huledet – the Hebrew Happy Birthday Song

Learn the Hebrew Happy Birthday song with this lyrics video! Ha Yom Yom Huledet is sung in Israel to celebrate…and in Jewish schools, camps and synagogues all over the world. No need to feel shy when you can learn the lyrics anytime with BimBam. We are proud to present our favorite Jewish songleader Isaac Zones in this singalong – so raise your voice – and happy birthday to you!

Jewish Questions on Adoption & Surrogacy

Questions can arise about what makes someone Jewish when families blend together or grow through surrogacy or adoption. However you find yourself becoming a parent and raising a child you might get a few questions about what makes a Jewish child Jewish. We have answered a few common questions to help make your parenting path easier for you.

How to Say the Jewish Blessing over Children

A blessing is a short moment out of time to express your appreciation for something or someone. Judaism encourages blessings for food, drink, study, washing your hands, using the bathroom – it goes on and on. But so many parents connect very deeply with the custom of blessing their children on Friday nights. It’s ancient and beautiful and easy to learn how to do. Whether you bless your child the traditional way, or add your own twist, it will be a highlight of the week for both of you.

Attending a Bar Mitzvah? Bat Mitzvah? Learn What to Expect

Attending a Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Understand the answers to the top questions people have from what should you wear, to when you should arrive to what to expect at the service and of course what kind of gift people generally give.

Converting to Judaism: A Guide

 

So, you want to convert to Judaism? Converting to Judaism is a big deal so we have outlined five steps for you to easily understand the process to expect about studying, ritual, and how long it generally takes to become part of the Tribe.

 

How to Bring Judaism into Your Home

We can’t help you decorate, but here are some Jewish ideas to help you move into a new home with a friend, spouse or partner.

Engaged? Jewish Traditions Before a Wedding

So, you want to get married? Here are seven Jewish customs and traditions to know about before you meet under the Chuppah.

What to Expect at a Jewish Wedding Ceremony

Don’t be in the dark about Jewish Wedding Traditions. There’s a lot of variation that you can expect, but just a few basic ingredients make up the core.

What is a Mikvah?

Learn about the Jewish ritual around immersing in water called the mikvah and why you might want to take the plunge.

Why We Break the Glass at Jewish Weddings

What is this breaking the glass thing all about? Sure it’s fun to break things, but that’s not the only reason that we break the glass at Jewish weddings! There are many different interpretations of this tradition, so we’ve collected three.

Ketubah: The Jewish Wedding Contract

Marriage is about making a strong partnership. The marriage contract, or ketubah, formalizes some of these agreements, and there are many different ways to make it personal to your ceremony and relationship.

Chuppah: The Jewish Wedding Canopy

While certain traditions appear in most Jewish weddings, there is always room for reinterpretation and reinvention.

Whether you’re planning a wedding or attending one, these videos can give you a brief explanation of the history of these traditions, and the many ways that couples have found of adapting them to our own time, and their own relationship.

The Hora: How to Dance at a Jewish Wedding

The Jewish wedding dance is super famous, and it’s called the Hora! When Hava Nagila starts playing, you don’t want to be the only one in the room who doesn’t know the hora!

To really dance like a pro, learn the words to Hava Nagila, and Siman Tov and Mazal Tov with our other Judaism 101 videos!

How to Get a Jewish Divorce

Want to learn about Jewish Divorce? Just as Judaism offers rituals to make marriage sacred…when divorce is necessary, Judaism also provides a sacred context. Interesting, right? While issues about ending a marriage can be messy and complex we have explained the one piece that can be rather… simple.

There are a myriad of Jewish subcultures and people, and the conversations in this video explores the array of choices people make in interpreting different types of Jewish rituals today.

 

Jewish Mourning Rituals: An Overview

The death of a loved one is a very disorienting time, and isn’t something many people think about until it’s actually happening to them. Understanding some of the traditions and the structured periods of mourning that Judaism offers may help provide some support in the grieving process.

Jewish Mourning Rituals: Caring for the Body

In Judaism, traditions around death have two purposes – to comfort the living, and to show respect for the dead. Understanding some of the more nuanced Jewish traditions and rituals for caring for a body before the funeral may help provide some support in a grieving process.

Jewish Mourning Rituals: The Funeral

The word for funeral in Judaism is levaya, which means accompanying. To accompany a person to their final resting place is an act of love and kindness for both the deceased and their family and this video explains a few of the Jewish practices to expect

Shiva: How to Help Your Friend in Mourning

Shiva is a word that means seven in Hebrew. Shiva is a word people use to explain the week-long mourning period in Judaism.

When friends and loved ones lose someone, it can be hard to know how to support them. This video on the Jewish practice of Shiva (שבעה “seven”) helps explain about the specific mourning practices in Judaism, and what your friend needs from you.
This particular video on Shiva is part of a larger series exploring the basics of Jewish Lifecycles. Jewish tradition is often specific. There are a myriad of Jewish subcultures and people, and the conversations in this series explores the array of choices people make in interpreting ritual today. To learn more about Jewish Wedding traditions, Jewish Mourning Traditions and Jewish Baby Traditions please take a look at our collection of 20+ videos about rituals – old and new – presented through animation and interviews, here on our site.

Gratitude for the Shiva Video

The Lifecycles Project was made possible with generous support from The Koret Foundation, as part of their Initiative on Jewish Peoplehood. Based in San Francisco, the Koret Foundation supports groups like G-dcast that contribute to a thriving community enhancing the quality of life for all. Many additional thanks to our G-dcast writers, narrators, producers, directors, sound engineers, musicians, educational advisors, artists and animators for working so hard on this project. A very specific thank you from everyone at G-dcast to Camille Angel, Barbara Barza, Mayana Bonapart, Ben Bromfield, Rachel Brodie, Blaire Brown, Tammy Chang, Menachem Creditor, Lisa Finkelstein, Danielle Foreman, Roni Handler, Peter Kachtik, Stu Kelman, Julie Bernstein Klein, Deborah Kolben, Sarah Lefton, Chai Levy, Rachel Levinson, Aaron Mandel, Liz Nord, Russel Neiss, Matthue Roth, Emily Savage, Matt Savage, Dan Schifrin, Jeremy Shuback, Ilana Sichel, Lindsey Silken, Jeanne Stern, Oren Stevens, Brett Vanderbrook, Marilyn Wacks, Lesley Wynn, Leah Yamshon and David Zeeman.

Koret Foundation

Kaddish: The Jewish Mourner’s Prayer

Learn to say the Mourner’s Kaddish – Jewish Prayer of Mourning – with this simple karaoke style video that combines the original Aramaic, a simple transliteration and the English translation. The Kaddish is in Aramaic, not Hebrew, except for the last sentence.

This project was made possible with generous support from The Koret Foundation, as part of its Initiative on Jewish Peoplehood.

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