Simchat Bat Frequently Asked Questions

1. When should a Simchat Bat ceremony occur?
Usually the ceremony occurs within the first year of life.

2. Would you perform a Simchat Bat ceremony for the daughter of an Inter-Faith couple?
Absolutely! I strive to make all parties feel as included as possible in my warm and joyous ceremony. A Simchat Bat should be a celebration for all who attend. Participation is welcomed and highly encouraged.

3. Do I need 10 people for the Simchat Bat ceremony? 
A minyan (group of 10) is preferable, but not mandatory.

4. What should my baby wear at the bris?
A baby should wear an outfit that is beautiful and meaningful to you and your family.

5. How do we choose a Hebrew name for our daughter?
It is traditional for the Hebrew name of your daughter to be given to her and announced at the Simchat Bat. One Custom that Jewish people follow is that of Ashkenazi Jews who usually name their baby after a deceased relative. Another custom followed by Sephardic Jews name a baby after a significant living relative. If you do not have a Hebrew name for your daughter, I will gladly assist you in selecting an appropriate Hebrew name.

6. Where is the Simchat Bat ceremony held?
Most commonly the Simchat Bat ceremony is held in people's houses, but is frequently performed in synagogues or larger rooms that are available.

7. How long does the ceremony last?
I will be in your home for approximately 1 1/2hours. Of which time the ceremony takes approximately 25-30 minutes.

8. Can we personalize the ceremony?
Yes, of course! Parents are encouraged to personalize their ceremony. It is an excellent way to reflect your warmth and spirituality.

9. When should we announce the Simchat Bat date and time?
WAIT until we have spoken and agreed upon a specific date and time.

10. How do we prepare for the Simchat Bat ceremony?
* First, please complete the Simchat Bat Checklist and send it to me.  It is a series of questions that permit us to design a ceremony that is inclusive and reflects the parent’s individuality.

* Second, gather your thoughts together regarding how you’d like to make this occasion special. I encourage parents and grandparents to write a short letter or poem for the baby describing his namesake and what special hopes they have for the future. This is a lovely keepsake that can be shared (or not) at the ceremony.

* Any family or friends who you would like to participate should be given their honors ahead of time. This would include the Sandek (usually the grandfathers) and the kvatter/kvatterin who will bring the baby into the room. You may also choose to have one or more candle lighters, usually the grandmothers or close female family and/or friends. Often family or friends choose to write a special prayer for this portion of the ceremony.

* I will need one (1) sturdy, medium sized table. It’s a nice touch to enhance the front of the table with family objects, providing an attractive setting. I suggest a table cover (a table cloth or family chuppah), family photos (especially of namesakes or special old relatives), a small vase of flowers, family candle sticks and Kiddush cups are family treasures that many parents have used in the past.

* A sturdy chair will need to be placed next to the table to serve as kisei shel Eliyahu, the chair of Elijah. I suggest hanging a family tallit over the back for adornment.

* Finalize the baby’s Hebrew name (I will also need both parents’ Hebrew names. If you don’t know them, please refer to your ketuba).

11. What Should We Do The Day of the Ceremony?
* Feed the baby 30 minutes before the ceremony.

* Dress the baby comfortably.

* Have people with honors arrive a bit earlier than the other guests.

* Disconnect house and mobile phones during the ceremony.

* Place "Ceremony in Progress. Please enter quietly" sign on the door.

* Prepare an extra bottle of breast milk or formula available for the baby during ceremony if needed.

* Let guests know that the ceremony will start on time, and that your daughter will appreciate everyone being timely!

* I will arrive 20 minutes prior to the scheduled time. During this time I will review the roles of any honored guests and the prayers that you as parents will recite (these can be read in either Hebrew or English).

The Simchat Bat ceremony is a wonderful beginning for a newborn child. It is a memorable experience, filled with significance and meaning for all those involved. We pray that this will be the first of many happy occasions to be joyously celebrated during your child’s life.

It would be my honor to attend your daughter’s Simchat Bat.
Dr. Richard I. Roberts - Certified Mohel
Cell: 516.455.2374