Are you planning an interfaith Jewish wedding?

A 2013 survey analysis conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project entitled “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” found the rate of interfaith marriage to be 58% among Jews of all backgrounds and denominations - among non-Orthodox Jews, in particular, it was found to be 71%. Over the last fifty years, the rate of interfaith marriage has been steadily on the rise, consider of those married before 1970 only 17% were in an interfaith marriage.  

Are you planning an interfaith Jewish wedding?

Getting married and joining of lives can feel overwhelming and complicated enough without throwing religion (let alone differing religions) into the mix. That being said, an interfaith Jewish wedding can be and is a beautiful undertaking. A lot of questions may come to mind such as, how do you make sure to include friends and family into the planning process? What components of a Jewish wedding ceremony should be included in an interfaith Jewish wedding? And, how do you create a meaningful interfaith Jewish wedding ceremony?   Let’s briefly answer these questions, for more detailed information, however, you may want to consider reading the “Jewish Wedding Guide for Interfaith Couples” issued by InterfaithFamily.

How to Include Friends & Family

We share common memories and experiences with friends, and in particular family - traditions and histories that vary across the globe. Incorporating everyone's histories, stories, and traditions can be challenging when planning your interfaith Jewish wedding, however, keeping just a few things in mind can help ease the process:

  • Identify any possible issues and challenges you may encounter with particular friends/family
  • Invite those close to you to get involved creatively
  • Cave and give parts of your wedding to relatives
  • Set boundaries, but be flexible

Utilizing just one or two of the above can make a world of difference when navigating the complications and challenges of ensuring your friends and family feel included and valued in the planning of your interfaith Jewish wedding.

What to Include in Your Ceremony & How to Make it Meaningful to You.

In a nutshell, a Jewish wedding ceremony includes the signing of the ketubah, the chuppah, blessings over wine, a ring ceremony, seven blessings, the breaking of glass and yichud. All of these components can easily be incorporated into your interfaith Jewish wedding.  It’s worthwhile to mention that a ketubah, in particular, can become a personalized work of art that you and your partner can treasure for years to come in both the wording and in the artwork encircling the text of the symbolic Ketubah. The text of a ketubah for an interfaith Jewish wedding can be modified to fit you and your partner's interpretation of marriage, focusing on its foundation in love and commitment to one another. In fact, the ketubah can even be used to describe how a couple plans on resolving conflicts and sharing life's responsibilities.

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