Weddings

The experience of a Jewish wedding is one of transformation. Two people enter the Huppah, the wedding canopy, as friends and lovers. In the course of their experience under the Huppah, their souls bond to each other in a way that cannot be described until it is experienced.

They emerge as transformed beings: sacred to one another as Hatan and Kallah, bridegroom and bride. The medium of this transformation is the magic of the ceremony.

Like all powerful rituals, the wedding ceremony is a holistic event.

One can think of the ceremony as a symphony of sucessive movements: the intensity builds, peaks and, only when we are ready, subsides gently allowing us to return to the world. We re-enter the world filled with the high of the peak experience and glowing with the charge it created in us.

In a wedding, there is no audience: all are participants and everyone is touched and changed. You can have a wedding like this - magical, beautiful, fun, hopeful, loving, tender, joyous, engaging, inclusive, tranformative....Why have less?

If you would like to create a Jewish wedding ceremony with me, I will be happy to work with you. We can weave innovation and tradition, music, song, laughter, poetry, drama, friends and family into a ceremony that is magical, powerful... and truly spellbinding.

Do you officiate at interfaith weddings?

My primary commitment is to creating Jewish ritual events that draw their power from their deep authenticity. A traditional Jewish wedding presumes that both partners are Jews and that their huppah is a public testimony to the Jewish context of the marriage. Most weddings at which I officiate are this kind of Jewish wedding.

I am willing to meet and work with couples in which one partner is a Jew and the other is not in order to learn about how you see your connection to Judaism and Jewish life. Why do you want a rabbi at your wedding? What are your aspirations for yourselves as a couple or as a future family? Are you wanting to learn together about how to strengthen your Jewish roots and create a Jewish life worthy of your commitment?

If the answer is "yes," we'll embark on learning together! The result: a high level of commitment to a fun, creative and spiritually meaningful Jewish home life, and a shared willingness to engage in the ongoing education that will make co-creating that home life possible! I will help you design a ceremony that is open, joyous, participatory, and engaging. We'll use the energetic framework that informs a Jewish ceremony, but tailor that to be authentic and personal for you. We'll use our creativity and all kinds of great resources to help you craft a unique ceremony that is just right for you.

 

Do you require counseling for couples prior to ceremony?

Every relationship offers opportunities for growth and also issues to be faced. Different values, styles, stories, assumptions, legacies and family histories must be shared and negotiated. The more we understand what we bring into a relationship, the better we will be at making it work.

Every couple has issues that can be difficult to talk about. I can help you by creating a safe space to ask questions of each other, and supporting your compassionate honesty.
I can offer counseling and education that is appropriate to the needs of every couple in whose marriage I participate, and can custom tailor counseling sessions to your backgrounds and needs. I am a certified Marriage and Family Therapist and therefore bring these skills, as needed, to serve you and help you make your loving relationship even stronger.. 

Do you require religious education for the couple prior to the ceremony?

When I work with any couple on the design of a wedding ceremony, each aspect of the ceremony offers an important opportunity to explore Jewish life, history, thought, philosophy, practice and language. Depending on the needs of the couple this can be fairly simple, or can become quite a remarkable curriculum – opening a dimension of Jewish spirituality that may not have been well taught in earlier exposures to Jewish education.

With interfaith couples, this process can be particularly exciting for both the Jewish and the non-Jewish partner. In fact you may both be equally inspired by the many ways in which Jewish spirituality matches your own aspirations!

My home is a Jewish "please touch" museum allowing me to create a rich "hands-on" learning environment. Our exploration emerges from the questions you ask, and follows those threads where they lead – which is into the multi-colored weave of Jewish life, thought, history, theology, custom, halachah, Torah, spirituality and practice.

Please describe what your fees include

My basic $1500 fee covers the following:

  • On the day of the ceremony: the diverse pre-ceremony family and community rituals and of course the ceremony itself (See the pdf booklet on this website for a more extensive description of the pre-ceremony and ceremony.)
  • Preparations and learning: A guided tour of the inner meaning of the flow of a Jewish wedding ceremony and all its components; supervising the choice of, and then ensuring the accuracy of the wording for the ketubah; 2-3 wedding preparation sessions and several phone consultations. Further counseling and learning sessions have an additional fee structure.
  • I am happy to travel to be with you wherever your ceremony will be held. Expect to add a $200 travel surcharge if your ceremony is farther than an hour drive from Philadelphia. I will need a hotel room if an overnight stay is necessary. I am available for "destination weddings" too. Sometimes there is a magical location you have always dreamed of for your wedding. If something like that is in your plans, lets talk! 

Tnai Kiddusin / Tenaiim

What is this? This is a radical/traditional Jewish legal document that can be signed at the same time that a traditional ketubah is signed. If using this document is advisable for you, I will teach about it and explain why.

Click Here to View

Need more information?

Here is a booklet that I wrote that goes step-by-step through all the preparations that lead up to a Jewish wedding, and then goes step-by-step through the arc of a Jewish wedding. It takes you on a tour of the spiritual journey! For interfaith couples, you can learn about aspects of  a Jewish wedding that might be adapted and personalized for you. Download it free here.

Download my 10-page Wedding Outline, and please Contact me with any questions.