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Ketuv

Finding a Wedding Rabbi

posted by Arielle Angel on April 26, 2012

Have you heard yet about Mazel Moments? We’re big fans. The mazelmoments website helps you plan any Jewish inspired event including a Jewish wedding, bar & bat mitzvah, bris milah, or kosher corporate event. Their extensive directories include venues, temples, rabbis, kosher caterers & restaurants, florists & chuppahs, judaica & ketubah artists, photographers & videographers, music & entertainment vendors, event planners, mohels and more within the Tri-State Area. Today, the mastermind behind it all, Cigall Goldman, shares her tips on finding a rabbi.

Congratulations! You’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with! The hard part is over. At least it should be!

Whether you’re planning a Jewish, interfaith and/or gay wedding, finding a wedding rabbi is an important decision. Nowadays so much of the wedding planning process focuses on the reception – the music, food, flowers, wedding cake, and so on. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Celebrating has always been important in the Jewish culture. But the wedding ceremony should be the most meaningful part of the day. So take the time to find a rabbi that will perform a ceremony that fits your style as a couple, and will bring to life your relationship and love for each other.

If you belong to a temple or went to a synagogue-affiliated Hebrew school as a child, you may have a rabbi in mind who can perform your ceremony. We still urge you to go through the following steps to ensure he or she is a perfect fit.

Photo by Cantor Kerry Ben-David

Step 1: Picture Your Ideal Wedding Ceremony

Discuss your wedding ceremony with your fiancé. Not the budget. Not the guest list. Focus on the ceremony. Try to visualize yourselves walking down the aisle surrounded by your loved ones and making one of life’s greatest commitments to each other. Is the ceremony lighthearted or serious? Traditional or highly personalized?

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Rabbi:

Denomination – Are you and/or your families Reform, Conservative Traditional, Conservative Egalitarian, Modern Orthodox, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, another denomination, or unaffiliated.

Style – Do you want a humorous rabbi, or do you prefer more serious wedding ceremonies? Do you want a rabbi that will provide explanations for your guests to understand all of the traditions and customs that you will be preforming?

Personalization – Jewish weddings involve many rituals, many of which can be modified or personalized to represent a couple’s beliefs.  From signing the ketubah to breaking the glass under the chuppah, it’s important to find a rabbi that will work with you to make the rituals personal, should you be interested in doing so.

Premarital Counseling – Most rabbis will meet with the couple a number of times before the wedding. This helps to establish a relationship and make the ceremony more personal. But some rabbis will also go beyond the ceremony and discuss the marriage. These rabbis provide a form of premarital counseling: a platform in which you can discuss life goals and potential challenges with your fiancé that you may have never discussed before (children, money, moving, illness, etc). Find out the number of times your rabbi plans to meet with you, what you will be discussing, and if he or she provides tools or resources that will help strengthen your marriage.

Step 2: Research Rabbis

Mazelmoments.com makes it easy and fun to find the perfect rabbi, cantor, wedding officiant and other Jewish clergy (including those willing to perform interfaith ceremonies). You can read about their background and training, and read reviews from other brides or families. Finding a rabbi to perform an interfaith or same sex wedding ceremony is just the click of a button.  If the rabbi is a congregational rabbi, we urge you to attend Shabbat services at their synagogue to get a sense of how they lead the services. That’s one of the best ways to know if you jive with a rabbi’s style.

For more help planning your Jewish event, visit mazelmoments.com.

Help Ketuv Make 2012 Great!

posted by Arielle Angel on January 3, 2012

Hello friends of Ketuv! Happy New Year! We’ve been officially up and running now for four months, and we’ve been working towards launch for much, much longer than that. We learned a lot of lessons in 2011, one being that everything worth doing is a little bit harder and takes a little bit longer than you expect, but we are energized by this process. We believe in our ketubot and are super excited to get them out there to couples in love! At Ketuv, we understand the value of building a community and we want to leverage our network to build Ketuv from the bottom up. We wanted you all to be the first to know that we’re amending our model to reward the people who believe in us! From now on, we will give any friend, friend of a friend, wedding planner, wedding vendor, family dog, etc. 10% of any facilitated sale. What this means is that if the couple names you as the person who referred them– if you’ve promoted Ketuv through word-of-mouth, social media, billboard, etc., we will give you $50+ for every artwork sold (our baseline price is $500, but custom artworks are priced upwards of $1,000 depending on the artist).

The Gossips, by Normal Rockwell: This is what word-of-mouth looks like!

  This goes for individuals as well as institutions. If you are a rabbi, we will donate 10% back to your congregation, and the couple can even specify a program that they would like it to benefit. If you’re another small business, Ketuv rewards can grow your petty cash or discretionary funds. If you’re an individual, buy yourself coffee for a month! Bottom line, when we ask who referred our customers, and your name comes up, we’ll gladly give back to you! We’re looking forward to a big year ahead. In the next few weeks, be on the lookout for a few new ketubot by artist and 6-point Fellowship recipient Will Deutsch, as well as from Ketuv artist, illustrator and graphic designer Elli Chortara. Also, prepare yourself for more text options, including an Aramaic egalitarian text from ancient Egypt (blog forthcoming). Any suggestions on how to improve our ketubot? We’re listening. Flexibility is our motto for the new year, and we’d love to hear from you! All the best to you and yours in the coming year. Hope it’s a great one! Love, Arielle and Maya