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Congregation Kesser Israel is an extended family – we celebrate the joys of Jewish life together, and support each other in times of sorrow. Throughout the cycle of life, we are here for you:

Bris/Baby Naming

Welcoming and blessing a Jewish baby is his or her introduction to Jewish life. We are happy to work with you on a meaningful, joyous ceremony. A bris, or brit milah, typically takes place on the eighth day after a boy’s birth.  Kesser works most closely with certified mohels  Rabbi Tzvi FischerRabbi Gadi Levy and  Rabbi Eliyahu Weismanand we are happy to recommend others as well.  The naming ceremony for a girl often takes place at shul during Shabbat services. For more information, please email us.  

Bar/Bat Mitzvah

When the time comes to celebrate a Bat Mitzvah (for a girl, at age 12), or a Bar Mitzvah (for a boy, at age 13), Kesser Israel is here to help your family mark this important milestone. For more information, please email us.


At Kesser Israel, we take the mitzvah of “rejoicing with the bride and the groom” to heart, and are happy to help create a meaningful experience for you, your family and friends. Please email us with any questions.

Illness, Death and Mourning  (or:  Illness and Bereavement)

Kesser Israel maintains a list for Refuah Shlemah (prayer for complete recovery), and includes a special prayer for healing during the Shabbat Torah service. If you wish to have your loved one included on the list, please email Michael Rosenberg.

Kesser Israel provides support and comfort during times of grief and mourning.  Please contact Rabbi Skolnik immediately if there is a death in the family.

The congregation can assist with funeral, burial and shiva minyan arrangements.  For information about the Kesser Israel Cemetery, please click here.

The Chevra Kadisha of Portland (Jewish Burial Society) is a group of men and a group of women who perform the traditional Jewish ritual of preparing individuals for burial. The Chevra works with all area funeral homes, and with any families wishing a traditional tahara (ritual preparation) for their loved ones. For additional information, please email Michael Rosenberg, director of the Chevra Kadisha.

A Yahrzeit plaque is a meaningful way to honor the memory of your departed loved ones.

The plaques are illuminated during the month of the Yahrzeit and on the four holidays each year when Yizkor is recited. Another opportunity is the Yizkor Book published every year at the High Holidays. To order a Yahrzeit plaque, please click here; for information about the Yizkor Book, or to submit names, please email us.

If you would like Kesser Israel to notify you when the yahrzeit dates of your loved ones are approaching, you can log into your Kesser membership account and add the names and dates here.

Kiddush and Seudah Shlishit

Sponsoring a Kiddush or a Seudah Shlishit on Shabbat is a great way to celebrate births, birthdays, bar and bat mitzvahs, engagements, anniversaries – any milestone or Simcha.

There are several options, from “standard” to “deluxe,” and sometimes people join together to cosponsor, and share the simcha. To reserve a date, or for more information, please click here.

Mezuzah Hanging

Rabbi Skolnik is delighted to be a part of making your residence truly a home by joining for you a mezuzah hanging and special blessing. For more information, please email Rabbi Skolnik. For more information on hanging a Mezuzah, click here.






Sun, April 14 2024 6 Nisan 5784