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JewishJournal.com

June 17, 2008

With this ketubah, I thee wed

http://www.jewishjournal.com/religion/article/with_this_ketubah_i_thee_wed_20080617

While civil ceremonies abound up and down the California coast, those seeking a Jewish ceremony -- complete with ketubah (the Jewish marriage contract) -- have a few extra stops to make on the road to matrimony.

There are lots of ketubot to choose from -- both in Los Angeles and online -- to help solidify a couple's love for one another.

At online ketubah store MPartworks, the 'Commitment Ketubah' for same-sex couples (see image below) comes in a variety of colors and styles ($99-$329) and can be purchased with or without a frame. KC Walensky, customer service specialist, said the company has had a increase in recent days of couples requesting it.

The top of the ketubah, written in Hebrew, is a translation of the English below it, not of the traditional Aramaic section one would find on an Orthodox or Conservative ketubah.

The ketubah for two males, for example, begins with: "On the ___ day of the week, the _____ day of _____, in the year ______, corresponding to the ______ day of ______, in the year______, in ______, ______, son of ______, and ______, son of ______, joined each other before family and friends to enter into a mutual covenant as equal partners, and with love and compassion each vowed to the other: Today I love you completely...."

The bottom has lines for the couple, two witnesses and the rabbi to sign.

Locally, both Audrey's Museum Store at the Skirball Cultural Center and Gallery Judaica in Westwood offer same-sex ketubot from a variety of artists.

"For years we've been welcoming same-sex couples," said Pamela Balton, store director for Audrey's. "Before it was legal, couples were coming in to purchase pieces of art for commitment ceremonies."

Delivery of ketubot, which range in price from $125 to $1,000, can take anywhere from a week to a couple of months (based on where it is being shipped from), and many can be personalized.

Although there is a ketubah specialist on site at the Skirball, couples don't need to make an appointment to see the selection.

"We've done chuppahs, ketubot, the wedding glass, everything," said Andrew Fish, marketing director for Gallery Judaica.

"The main difference is the wording of the ketubah," he said, noting that some of the ketubot are gender neutral and some only come in English.

"We just like to help," Fish said. "Whomever needs helps getting married -- we're going to help them get married.

Gallery Judaica is located at 1312 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 475-1242.

Audrey's Museum store at the Skirball, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 440-4505 (closed Mondays).




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