However, despite the importance of marriage we find no mention of the wedding ceremony in the Bible. The obligations related to the Jewish wedding ceremony are discussed in the Talmud. The Mishnah states that marriage requires a marriage contract, money given to the bride and consummation.
The ketubah (marriage contract), is traditionally written in Aramaic that lists these responsibilities of the husband to the wife, among them the provision of food, clothing, and conjugal rights. The ketubah was also an insurance policy which includes the amount to be paid to a wife in case of divorce or upon the husband’s death.
Liberal Judaism has changed some aspects of the wedding ceremony to reflect the equal status of women and developed both liturgy and ketubot (marriage contracts) specifically for same-gender and non-binary gender ceremonies.
For many, the chuppah represents one of the first steps they take on their Jewish lifecycle journey, and we look forward to accompanying the couple during whatever else life brings their way. If you would like to have a Liberal Jewish wedding, please contact your local rabbi or Liberal Judaism, who will be delighted to hear from you.
Please note: The law of England, Scotland and Wales permits marriage between two persons of either gender but stipulates that, when a couple wishes to be married under Jewish auspices, both partners must be Jewish. Liberal Judaism requires both to be members of the Liberal synagogue under the auspices of which the ceremony will be carried out.
For information on ketubot that are suitable for Liberal Judaism marriage ceremonies please contact the Montagu Centre.Click here to see our Marriage FAQ
Liberal Judaism recognises that love often knows no religious boundary, and Jews do not always fall in love with other Jews. Rather than see this as a negative, we see it as an opportunity. We hope that instead of the Jewish partner ‘marrying out’, the non-Jewish partner will be encouraged to ‘marry in,’ whether figuratively or literally. We do this by welcoming non-Jewish partners and spouses into our congregations as valued friends and sometimes as converts under our auspices.
While the law does not authorise rabbis to solemnise mixed-faith marriages (whether mixed-gender, same-gender or non-binary gender), most are happy to perform blessings on such. Such a blessing requires engagement between the couple and rabbi to create a meaningful and appropriate ceremony.
Mixed faith couples can receive a wedding blessing from a rabbi under the traditional Jewish chuppah (canopy). As with all weddings, the use of the chuppah is at the rabbi’s discretion and where the couple intend to maintain a Jewish home. To find out more about mixed faith blessings, and to discuss whether and how one might work for you contact the Liberal Judaism office or your local Liberal synagogue.