Temple Shalom Policies

B’nai Mitzvah

If you are considering a B-Mitzvah (Bar/Bat/Brit Mitzvah) at Temple Shalom, please contact the Rabbi and Ritual Chair preferably 18 months before the anticipated B-Mitzvah date.   For all intended purposes, this policy is directed to teenage B’nei Mitzvah students.  Please note that adult B-Mitzvah ceremonies are encouraged and any adult who is interested needs to contact the Rabbi and Ritual Chair to discuss the matter further.  The expectations for all genders are the same, and the purpose of this policy is to assist and ensure families are given all necessary information to proceed forward in this life cycle event.  In the event that Key Requirements are not met, the family will need to discuss their individual circumstances with both the Rabbi and Board of Directors.


A family in which only the child’s father is Jewish needs to be aware that the child will be considered Jewish at Temple Shalom but may not be considered Jewish elsewhere.  Please direct any questions or concerns about this to the Rabbi.


Key Requirements

  1. Three consecutive years of family membership, including the B-Mitzvah year.
  2. A minimum of three consecutive years of preparatory curriculum in the Temple Religious School, including the B-Mitzvah year. These three years ensure the following: skill in reading Hebrew, basic knowledge of Jewish history, customs, and values, an understanding of the structure of a Shabbat service, and the completion of a B-Mitzvah project (to be supervised by the B’nei Mitzvah Judaic teacher and/or the Rabbi).
  3. Appropriate private tutoring for the B-Mitzvah student. The family is responsible for hiring and paying the tutor directly.  A family may apply to the Temple (via the President) for a subsidy of up to 25% of the cost of tutoring for up to 28 weeks.
  4. Regular attendance by the student during Shabbat services (note: the Religious School incorporates weekly attendance during the Shabbat services).
  5. Participation by the family in Rabbi-led parent-student activities throughout the year.

Fees and Honoraria

  • The family shall make a $360 contribution to Temple Shalom as an administration fee to be paid at least 30 days before the ceremony.
  • The family is responsible for all arrangements and costs ancillary to the actual service, which is not limited to, but includes the following: lay leaders (if the Rabbi is not the service leader), musical accompaniment, pew turning, catering, rentals, clean-ups, etc.

Scheduling and Timing

  • The B-Mitzvah date should be set 18 months beforehand; this ensures that the Rabbi is able to accommodate the service into their yearly schedule.
  • Typically a B-Mitzvah is scheduled close to the student’s thirteenth birthday. However, once all the Key Requirements are met, then the Rabbi and family will work together to discuss the most appropriate date that best suits the Bar/Bat/Brit Mitzvah student.
  • The B-Mitzvah ceremony may be any time the Torah is traditionally read.
  • In the event that the family is unable to schedule the B-Mitzvah on a Rabbi weekend, the family will be required to make alternative arrangements for service leadership at their own expense; this may include the Rabbi services.
  • In the event of a competition for a given date, the families shall negotiate an acceptable arrangement through discussion with the Ritual Chair and Rabbi (or selected service leader). Possible arrangements may include shared or sequential ceremonies, or choice of another date.
  • In the event that a family wishes to plan an alternative time or place for the ceremony, they must consult with the Rabbi and Ritual Chair. The Board of Directors must approve any plans of this nature due to the policies regarding the Torah Scroll.
  • To book a space in the building outside of the service time, please contact the Cedars Office at office@westminsterunited.ca or 519-746-6080.

Ceremony Content

  • A B-Mitzvah student and their family shall have input in designing an appropriate and meaningful ceremony using Jewish tradition as a guide.
  • All ceremony plans must be discussed and approved by the Rabbi. In special circumstances, the Ritual Chair must also be consulted.
  • Participation by the B-Mitzvah student typically includes the student reading or chanting a Torah portion along with writing and giving a D’var Torah (speech illustrating the meaning they have derived from the Torah portion and applying it to contemporary life). The student should lead as much of the service as they are comfortable and capable of.  In addition, reading Haftarah is encouraged.
  • Participation by non-Jewish family members is encouraged, but the Rabbi must be consulted to ensure that the participation is appropriate. Non-Jewish participation is not appropriate in portions of the ceremony that explicitly invoke or suggest inclusion in the continuity of the Jewish people.  Examples of inappropriate participation include: prayers that contain “our”, placing the speaker in the Jewish collective, aliyot, i.e. holding, raising, and dressing the Torah, passing the Torah from generation to generation, and symbolizing personal acceptance of Torah and Jewish identity.


Temple Shalom is a warm and inviting community for those curious about Judaism, considering converting to Judaism, or who are raising Jewish children. We welcome those who wish to explore our faith and consider embracing the Covenant of Israel. Our rabbi works with individual candidates toward conversion which requires a period of academic study, regular participation in the community, and the rituals of Beit Din, circumcision for males, and mikvah. Our Outreach Program provides programming and events designed to give you an opportunity to learn more about Jewish belief and practice, as well as to embrace and celebrate the multicultural aspects of our diverse community.

Finances, Dues, and Fees

Financial Year

The financial year for Temple Shalom is September 1 through August 31.

Dues Payable

Membership dues are payable on September 30th of each year unless other arrangements are made with the President or Treasurer.

Religious School Tuition Payable

Tuition for religious school is payable on September 30th of each year unless other arrangements are made with the President or Treasurer.

Reduction in Dues/Fees

The President and Treasurer are empowered to make adjustments to membership dues and tuition fees. They can make decisions without board approval when they feel confident making such decisions. Tuition should be paid in full if at all possible.

Trading Salary for Dues

Employees who are members of the Temple will not be allowed to forgo salary in exchange for lower Temple dues or Religious School fees.

Suggested Honouraria for Lay-Led Services

Suggested honoraria, payable directly to lay leaders are as follows:

  • Yahrzeit — $50
  • Baby naming, Aufruf, Unveiling, Memorial — $150
  • Wedding, Funeral — $250
  • Leading Bar/Bat Mitzvah Service — $400
  • Musically Accompanying in Bar/Bat Mitzvah Service — $250

All the above are to be paid by the member requesting the service directly to the performer of the service.

Wedding Fees and Honoraria

  • The member couple shall make a $500 administration fee to be paid at least 30 days before the ceremony (reduced to $360 if members for 3 years or more)
  • The couple is responsible for all arrangements and costs ancillary to the actual service, which is not limited to, but includes the following: lay leaders (if the Rabbi is not the service leader), musical accompaniment, pew turning, catering, rentals, clean-ups, etc.

Kiddush Responsibility Guidelines

Please note that if you are hosting a Kiddush, you are fully responsible for set up and clean up. Of course, feel free to ask anyone in attendance to help out. The oneg table should be prepared by 12:00 noon with juice (poured in cups) and at least one chalah covered.
In addition to food, plates, cups, & utensils are needed (if you don’t want to wash the reusable ones).  **Please consider using either reusable or compostable plates, cups, cutlery, and napkins to minimize waste.              
Also, you will need to bring your own tablecloths & dishtowels if you do not want to launder and bring back the temple ones the following week).
After the Kiddush, the community room and kitchen need to be completely cleaned, floor swept, tables wiped, sink emptied and kitchenware put away.  Any tables and chairs that are brought out also need to be put away afterward.  Please take organic waste bags home with you for disposal.

Note: dairy/parve/vegetarian only in the Temple and on Cedars grounds. *No peanuts or peanut-containing products please, due to people in our congregation with allergies.

Important: Remember to turn out the lights, check outside doors to the community room, and lock the Temple front door on your way out. You don’t need a key to lock up!
If you are not sure about how to do any of these shutdown tasks, ask any Temple officer who is attending.
For more detailed guidelines on running an Oneg or large event at Temple Shalom, please see this document.

Memorial Plaques

Congregants may order memorial plaques for their loved ones that have passed on. The price for the standard sized plaque will be $300 which includes a donation to the Temple. Congregants may contact the Board regarding other forms of memorial.


Dress Code on the Bimah

There is no specific dress code for the Bimah. In a case in which a family is making the choices regarding who should receive honours for a service, the family should be informed that they have the option of informing those individuals of any preferences they may have.

Photography and Videotaping During Services

Photography and videotaping during services are permitted provided that the said activity is unobtrusive and respects the integrity of the service. Photographers and videographers will be positioned behind or at the side of the congregation and no flashes or lighting will be used.

Role of Non-Jews

Guidelines on the Role of Non-Jews in Temple Life

Temple Shalom values and appreciates the many contributions to its community life made by non-Jews – both members and non-members. The Temple celebrates positive involvement by non-Jews, many of whom are married to Jewish members, others of whom are sincerely exploring Judaism as a possible life choice.

In keeping with that spirit, this policy document clarifies the role of non-Jews in the life of Temple Shalom so as to avoid any misunderstandings, resentments, or hurt feelings. This document is not in any way intended to diminish or discourage participation by non-Jewish congregants. On the contrary, it recognizes the many wonderful forms such participation takes, while specifying certain limits in an effort to prevent confusion and dissention. Thus, the Temple hopes to maintain and, indeed, enhance the positive nature of the role played by so many non-Jews in its community.

Exceptions to the guidelines may be made by the board of directors on the recommendation of the Ritual Committee.

Services (T’filot)


  • Reading in English
  • Participating in the choir
  • Giving a d’var Torah
  • Opening the Ark

Not Acceptable:

  • Reading from the Torah
  • Holding the Torah
  • Having an alyia
  • Doing hagba and g’lila
  • Lighting candles
  • Passing the Torah (in Bar/Bat Mitzvah)
  • Leading Hebrew prayers
  • Being counted in a minyan

Service leaders are responsible for implementing these guidelines to the best of their ability and knowledge.

The Ritual Committee may allow individuals who have participated actively and consistently in the Temple community or are considering conversion to participate with their families on special occasions.



  • Join a committee (except Ritual)
  • Work for the Temple as a paid employee
  • Serve as a member-at-large on the board of directors

Not Acceptable:

  • Chair a committee
  • Service as an officer on the board of directors

Religious School


  • Lead special programs
  • Participate as a parent

Not Acceptable:

  • Work as a teacher (individuals who have participated actively and consistently in the Temple community or are considering conversion may apply for exemption)
  • Work as principal

Violence in the Workplace

It is Temple Shalom’s policy to promote a safe environment for its employees. The Temple is committed to working with its employees to maintain a work environment free from violence, threats of violence, harassment, intimidation, and other disruptive behaviour. While this kind of conduct is not pervasive at Temple Shalom, no organization is immune. Every organization will be affected by disruptive behaviour at one time or another.

Violence, threats, harassment, intimidation, and other disruptive behaviour in our workplace will not be tolerated; that is, all reports of incidents will be taken seriously and will be dealt with appropriately. Such behaviour can include oral or written statements, gestures, or expressions that communicate a direct or indirect threat of physical harm. Individuals who commit such acts may be removed from the premises and may be subject to disciplinary action, criminal penalties, or both.

We need your co-operation to implement this policy effectively and maintain a safe working environment. Do not ignore violent, threatening, harassing, intimidating, or other disruptive behaviour. If you observe or experience such behaviour by anyone on our premises, whether they are a Temple Shalom employee or not, report it immediately to the senior staff person or Board member on the premises at that time, followed by a written statement as soon as possible. Supervisors or Board members who receive such reports should seek advice from the Personnel Committee or the Board of Directors regarding investigating the incident and initiating appropriate action. PLEASE NOTE: Threats or assaults that require immediate attention by police should be reported first to the police at 9-1-1.

The Board of Directors will support all efforts made by staff and lay members in dealing with violent, threatening, harassing, intimidating, or other disruptive behaviour in our workplace and will monitor whether this policy is being implemented effectively. If you have any questions about this policy, please contact the President of the Board of Directors.

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