Jewish Weddings Are Rich in Ancient Ritual and Modern Diversity
Modern Jewish weddings vary widely in setting, structure, and style. But most incorporate ancient rituals and traditions, including the use of a wedding canopy symbolizing the sacred and the signing of a wedding contract reflecting wedding vows. For professional wedding planners seeking wedding consultant certification from wedding consultant courses, and for interfaith couples getting married in a Jewish wedding ceremony aided by online wedding planning resources, it is essential to understand what elements are required, what elements are elective, and how Jewish music and Jewish food fit into the equation. Unlike weddings in other faith traditions, the cantor who sings can also be the officiant, the wedding ceremony can take place almost anywhere, and speaking wedding vows is optional once the wedding contract has been signed. This flexibility is a result of Jewish congregational autonomy and is compounded by differences in practice and interpretation among the three main branches of world Judaism. Unfortunately, many mainstream wedding consultant courses and online wedding planning programs pay insufficient attention to the ancient origins, powerful rituals, and profound symbolism of Jewish weddings. Why is this is a serious shortcoming for non-Jews learning online wedding planning as a profession? Because the liturgy of the Christian wedding ceremony has deep Jewish roots, the incidence of interfaith marriages between Jews and non-Jews is increasing, and adventurous non-Jewish couples are adopting the Jewish wedding canopy and other elements of Jewish tradition into indoor and outdoor weddings where sacred symbols have an important place. As a result, contemporary wedding consulting demands a clear understanding of historic Jewish wedding laws and rituals, even when a particular wedding professional happens to work in a predominantly non-Jewish wedding market.
Consult a Cantor for Online Wedding Planning Advice
Not Available in Conventional Wedding Consultant Courses
In an era of eclectic individualism, being a wedding planner or planning a wedding professionally is impossible without immersion in the colorful customs of world weddings and popular variations on traditional Western wedding ceremony elements, such as wedding vows customized to express a couple’s unique personalities and preferences. Although conventional wedding consultant courses provide basic guidance when starting a wedding planning business, interfaith and intercultural wedding planning jobs are unusually stressful for planners, presenting challenges and requiring sophistication that other online wedding planning courses don’t address. For expert advice on Jewish wedding traditions and practices, including music for a Jewish wedding, an experienced cantor is the best possible resource. The cantor’s distinctive role as a clergyperson, musician, and wedding officiant is without parallel in other faiths, where pastoral and musical duties are divided and planning a church wedding requires multiple meetings with both priest or pastor and organist or music director before couples speak their wedding vows in a church ceremony. Fortunately for Members of the most innovative of online wedding consultant courses, the celebrated cantor of a leading Jewish congregation explains Jewish weddings in a pair of course video tutorials specifically designed for three different online wedding planning audiences: (1) wedding planners seeking to increase their knowledge and diversify their practice, (2) interfaith couples planning a Jewish wedding ceremony, and (3) wedding businesses interested in attracting a larger share of the Jewish wedding market in their community. If you belong to one of these important groups, we have the cantor for you.
Course Video Tutorial: 'A Celebrated Cantor Teaches Jewish Weddings and Music l' (31:45)
Roslyn Barak, the celebrated cantor of San Francisco’s Congregation Emanu-El, is an authority on aspects of Jewish wedding tradition, symbolism, and practice that are most relevant to careers in wedding planning in the 21st century. Only the sixth cantor in the 160-year history of the West Coast’s preeminent Reform Jewish congregation, she trained as an opera singer and holds degrees in music performance, cantorial music, and personal counseling. A beloved teacher, musician, and liturgist, she is also an experienced wedding officiant with a loyal local following and a growing list of ‘destination temple’ wedding clients who travel to San Francisco to get married. A rich online wedding planning information resource, she possesses a cosmopolitan heritage and history, a deep commitment to pastoral counseling, and a profound understanding of the sensitive issues surrounding interfaith marriage. In this course video tutorial, the cantor teaches Members key concepts and terms, detailing the elements of a typical Reform Jewish wedding and explaining how it differs from Orthodox and Conservative wedding practices. The tutorial is the first in a two-part series that includes inspiring excerpts of the cantor singing traditional Jewish wedding songs and officiating at a Jewish wedding.
Learn 12 essential elements of Jewish weddings:
- The roles of the rabbi and the cantor in the synagogue and at a Jewish wedding
- The origins of the Ashkenzim and Sephardim, and of Ladino and Yiddish
- Differences in Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Jewish wedding practices
- The meaning and function of the wedding canopy and the wedding contract
- When and where Jewish weddings can and can’t be held, and why
- How the Jewish obligation to ‘repair the world’ informs each wedding ceremony
- Why speaking wedding vows is optional when the wedding contract includes them
- Three popular pre-wedding ceremony rituals that are rich in ancient symbolism
- The meaning and role of the ‘Song of Songs’ and the Seven Wedding Blessings
- Why a glass is broken at the conclusion of the wedding
- Why interfaith marriage is a sensitive subject and how it is handled today
- The handkerchief, the hora, and the reception