A first haircut is reason for a sacred celebration!
Traditional Jews often wait until a boy's third birthday before giving him his first haircut. The haircut is performed during a festive celebration called an "upsherin." Upsherin means to "shear off" in Yiddish. It derives from the German words scheren, which means "to shear" and auf, which means "off."
This "traditional" ceremony has been reclaimed by liberal Judaism and progressively-mind Jews to include their sons and daughters. Celebrated on or sometime after your child's third birthday, a modern upsherin provides the opportunity to celebrate your son or daughter and the family, involving family members from near and far, friends and people from your community.
Together, in advance of your celebration, we’ll tailor a personalized upsherin ceremony, including who will be involved and how, who will be remembered, and, most importantly, we'll think together about what you might like to say about your son or daughter. Perhaps you spoke at your son's b'rit milah (bris) or your daughter's baby naming. At an upsherin you can speak too, but with even greater insight because you've known each other for three years! And your service will afford the opportunity for relatives and close friends to participate and give everyone present reason to smile and shed a tear of joy. Of course, your most honored guests will join you in cutting a lock of hair. As a celebration of life, some families save one lock of hair for safekeeping but also donate the rest of their child's locks to "Locks of Love" or similar charities. Whatever you choose, I will commit the service to paper in a format that you can reproduce on decorative paper and arrange in booklet form for all of your guests.
The customary honorarium for my services at an upsherin celebration in Nassau County is $900 (and a bit more for twins or triplets). If applicable, travel expenses outside of the Nassau County area and lodging are paid for by the baby’s parents. My honorarium includes a suggested one to two meetings (either live or virtual), the actual upsherin event, and a reproducible, master copy of your upsherin service.