Pride Award for mixed faith couple whose wedding was led by Rabbi Rebecca

3 July 2024 – 27 Sivan 5784

Adam and Ali with their Pride Award

A Jewish-Muslim gay couple, whose wedding blessing ceremony was led by Rabbi Rebecca Birk, have won a prestigious award.

Adam Imber, who is a Progressive Jew, and his Muslim husband Ali Najjar were celebrated at the PEUGEOT Attitude Pride Awards 2024 – which, each year, honour 10 everyday LGBTQI+ heroes and global icons.

Adam and Ali under the Chuppah with Rabbi Rebecca Birk

Rabbi Rebecca leads the wedding blessing for Adam and Ali

In an article, accompanying their win, the magazine said: “The story of Adam and Ali is one of love, understanding, and acceptance. Three things this chaotic world could do with more of. In the context of current world events, their relationship demonstrates how love can supersede all else.”

Last year, Attitude covered the couple’s incredible wedding day in a piece describing a truly unique and inclusive blessing ceremony – led by Rabbi Rebecca under a Chuppah – which included Turkish readings and Hebrew prayers to honour both cultures.

Adam and Ali created their own marriage contract for the day, using elements from the Ketubah and Turkish tradition – but modernising them to reflect their relationship and backgrounds. The contract was read aloud by their friends on the day, as a show of their declaration to each other.

Adam – who asked Rabbi Rebecca to officiate after remembering her fondly from his Bar Mitzvah at Woodford Liberal Synagogue (now part of ELELS) – said: “Jewish traditions were important to me, to make it feel like we were being blessed. It wouldn’t have felt like my wedding unless that heritage was there, and Ali was fully supportive.

“My favourite part of the day was seeing everyone mixing and chatting – there was no divide between people or groups. I remember just looking around and taking that in. It was an incredible feeling.”

The couple break the glass in a ceremony that combined their two traditions

The couple break the glass in a ceremony that combined their two traditions

Rabbi Rebecca, now of Finchley Progressive Synagogue, added: “Adam and Ali are the sweetest couple, who fully deserve this award and all the happiness they are enjoying together.

“It was utterly heart-warming and charming when Adam tracked me down, years after his Bar Mitzvah, and asked me to lead the wedding ritual.

“I was delighted to help him and Ali put together a ceremony – combining the best of their faith and cultural traditions with a modern twist – and it was special to stand under the Chuppah with them both and their families and all it represented.”

Adam and Ali met online in 2017. In May 2022, Adam proposed to Ali in New York’s Central Park, and they wed a year later at Braxted Park in Essex.

Speaking about the importance of their award, Ali said: “We are showing our community that you can do this, and you can be yourself, have religion in your life and overcome all those barriers.

“I’m happy that we’re moving forward in the right direction where [LGBTQI+ is] being talked about and people can learn.”

  • Award picture courtesy of Markus Bidaux/Attitude Magazine. Wedding photos courtesy of Beki Young Photograph.
  • To find out more about mixed faith wedding blessings in Liberal and Reform Judaism please contact your local rabbi or cantor. Exact practice may vary between communities and clergy.

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