Mitzvah Gedola lihiyot b’simcha tamid – it is a great Mitzvah to be filled with joy continually.”

Mazel Tov on your upcoming simchah! This is a most exciting time for you, your family, and indeed for the Jewish community. Finding a life partner is not easy – in fact, our tradition teaches that following the creation of the world, God spends time helping make worthy matches. At Tikvat Israel, we celebrate the engagements of ALL our members and their adult children who are committed to creating a Jewish home.

Preparing for the Ceremony

A traditional Jewish wedding is full of meaningful rituals, symbolizing the beauty of the relationship of two people who have decided to create a life together, as well as their obligations to each other and to the Jewish people. The rabbi seeks to meet with all engaged couples and help them find the right options for their wedding ceremony and to discuss the “big questions” couples face as they prepare to marry. When both partners are Jewish, our clergy are honored to officiate in the wedding ceremony; for multi-faith couples, our clergy can help you find the right officiant and discuss ways to incorporate Jewish traditions into your ceremony. Please go the rabbi’s calendly website to set up an appointment.

Please note that scheduling a Jewish wedding requires careful planning. Weddings are not held on the Sabbath, major Jewish holidays or Chol Ha-Moed (the intermediate days of a festival) to ensure that each celebration gets its full attention. There are also time periods in the calendar when we commemorate tragic events in Jewish history and therefore do not hold weddings. This includes the period between Passover and Lag Ba’Omer, the nine days prior to Tisha B’av, minor Fast Days, and other days of solemnity. On Saturday nights, a wedding (including bedeken and ketubah signing) should be scheduled to begin no earlier than 45 minutes after Shabbat ends. We recognize that this makes Saturday night weddings during Daylight Savings Time difficult to arrange.

The Aufruf – A Shabbat Prior to the Wedding

As a congregation, we are pleased to honor both-Jewish and multi-faith couples of all orientations and gender identities by “calling them up” (the literal meaning of the word aufruf) to the Torah on a Shabbat prior to the wedding. It is a chance for the whole community to celebrate the love between the couple and for the rabbi to offer them a special blessing.

Many couples or their parents sponsor a Kiddush that Shabbat for the congregation, family and friends as part of their celebration of their marriage.