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Hazzan Howard K. Glantz, Certified Moyel
Ideas for older siblings and cousins at the bris
Oftentimes, families are conflicted about the appropriateness of siblings, especially those they fear will become distractions to their guests and/or find the event overwhelming. These two ideas have worked for some families. Reading them may spark other ideas you then form that will prove even more appropriate for your children or young guest. Please do share if I can add another idea to add on this page!
THE TZEDAKAH BOX GIFT - The older sibling(s) cousin(s) can present baby with a tzedakah box and have the fun of putting coins in it during the ceremony. By them giving tzedakah in baby’s name, it can mean baby is symbolically already performing acts of generosity and kindness with help of these little helpers.
A can, or bottle can be used as a makeshift tzedakah box too and making/decorating it can be a distraction - stickers can often be done without supervision or mess. Coins can be given (sanitized in a world still affected by the Covid-19 pandemic) to the child and the tactile project of putting them in the container can busy a child with something time consuming and meaningful.
The PILLOW (CASE) that is used as the Throne of Elijah. I usually bring a fancy embroidered pillow case that goes over your standard bed-sized pillow to use in the ceremony, but it might be more meaningful for older siblings to make and decorate one ahead of time or while guests are arriving. Creating this case and then seeing it used and identified during the ceremony will likely be exciting and meaningful for the child.