How I approach Weddings and other Ceremonies

When we work together on a ceremony we have to meet three goals.

  1. To have a meaningful and memorable experience for the participants.
  2. To have a beautiful and understandable ceremony for the guests.
  3. To honor and integrate the traditions we have received from our ancestors.

Jewish practice provides many beautiful rituals as well as tremendous flexibility to integrate modern practices and the couples own ideas. For example, the core of

the modern Jewish wedding is only a few paragraphs. From that core, the wedding couple and I will construct the ceremony that is ideal for them. Some of the factors to be considered are:

  • What is the background of the couple, the wedding party, the extended family, and the guests? What expectations do they bring?
  • What will be in Hebrew and what will be in English? Will other languages be included? How can we insure that all participants understand the events and can participate?
  • How many family and friends will be involved in the ceremony and what roles will they play? Is this an interfaith community?
  • What will we add to the traditional core service through readings and music, and which additions should we select?
Havdalah - Marking the end of Shabbat before a Saturday Evening Wedding
Havdalah - Marking the end of Shabbat before a Saturday evening wedding.

By working closely to create a personalized wedding ceremony, we can combine religious tradition with personal meaning and develop a once-in-a-lifetime spiritual and romantic experience that will be treasured by all participants.

Funerals, baby naming, b’nai mitzvot and other ceremonies also mark significant events in life. The service is very different from a wedding but the same principles apply. We combine the practices of Jewish tradition, the desires of the family, and the need to make it understandable and meaningful to the guests and other participants.

Click here to tell me about the ceremony you are planning.


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