Simplify Planning for a Jewish Interfaith Wedding

Simplify Planning for a Jewish Interfaith Wedding

InterfaithFamily's resources include an email series that is offered quarterly.

Are you having a Jewish interfaith wedding? What is a “Jewish interfaith wedding”?

It can mean different things to different people.

First of all, there’s the term “interfaith.” When we use that term at InterfaithFamily, we’re referring to any relationship in which one partner identifies as Jewish and one partner identifies with or is from a different religious and/or cultural heritage. A “Jewish interfaith wedding” is a wedding of two such people.

To help support couples planning Jewish interfaith weddings, InterfaithFamily created an eight-part email series that is offered quarterly (the next one starts Monday, June 4), full of how-tos, tips from experts and stories from other couples about everything from finding an officiant to picking a ketubah (and what is a ketubah anyway?) to managing family dynamics.

Just as every couple is unique, every Jewish interfaith wedding is unique.

On the one hand, an interfaith wedding can be similar to a wedding where both partners are Jewish, with perhaps a few minor changes. For example, it can be officiated solely by Jewish clergy, the traditional Jewish wedding language can be recited, and the couple may promise the rabbi before the ceremony that if they have children, they’ll be raised Jewish.

For other rabbis and couples, an interfaith wedding can look very different from a traditional Jewish wedding.

For example, the rabbi may co-officiate with a clergy member of another faith. There may be elements of another religious tradition incorporated into the ceremony. The couple may not have made any promises as to how they will raise any children they may have.

Many Jewish interfaith weddings fall somewhere in between. (For more on this topic, click here.) The email series will help you to plan the Jewish interfaith wedding that’s right for you, no matter what kind of wedding you imagine.

The emails cover the following topics:

  • Finding your officiant.
  • The ketubah/marriage contract.
  • Elements of a Jewish wedding ceremony and the inclusion of elements from other religious traditions.
  • Ritual objects and garments.
  • Communication with your partner and family.
  • Advice from wedding experts.
  • “What I wish I’d known when I was planning my interfaith wedding.”

The goal is that your wedding should be authentic and meaningful not just for your family and guests, but also for the people who matter most (the two of you).

Another place to start if you’re planning a wedding is this Jewish Wedding Guide for Interfaith Couples.

Rabbi Malka Packer-Monroe, the director of InterfaithFamily/Atlanta, can serve as a resource or an officiant for interfaith couples.

Looking for Jewish clergy to officiate or co-officiate your wedding? Learn about InterfaithFamily’s trusted and free clergy referral service.

Want to read about the experiences of other brides and grooms as they prepare for their weddings? Many have documented their wedding planning process on our wedding blog.

If you’re ready to find a supportive community to help you through all those decisions, big and small, learn more about how to sign up for our email series now. We truly hope that these emails prove useful and practical (and maybe even a little fun).

Mazel tov to all the happy couples out there. Now let’s get you married.

Lindsey Silken is the editorial director of InterfaithFamily. Rabbi Robyn Frisch is the director of InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia.

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