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Members of the 'Bnei Menashe' Jewish community at the Beith Shalom Synagogue in Churachandpur, in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, India.

It didn’t matter to me whether religious school changed a little or a lot. My son was still going. I cared too much about a Jewish future to make it optional.

The first Jewish life-cycle celebration for the male baby is Brit Milah, circumcision. Through this symbolic act, which according to the Bible began with Abraham and Isaac, Jewish males are brought into the community of Israel, marked for life as Jews, and given a Hebrew name. Among Conservative and Reform Jews a naming ceremony in the home or in the synagogue welcomes female babies to their new Jewish identities.