Ceremony at Yad Vashem
In the months before his wedding, Jon Citel cringed at the notion of having his friends dance him to his bride at a traditional bedeken ceremony, where he would place the veil over her face.
Baptist Bishop Eddie Long has apologized for a church service in which he was wrapped in a Torah scroll and called a king.
The gospel choir sang "God Bless America." If you weren't thinking of the Jewish immigrant Irving Berlin who wrote that song, you couldn't appreciate the beautiful irony of the moment.
In Los Angeles, with today's foodie culture in full tilt, there is no "one-size-fits-all" option when it comes to choosing a bakery to create the perfect wedding cake.
Destination weddings in spots like Hawaii or the Caribbean are a romantic way to start a new life with someone, but changes in the economy and fuel prices are forcing many couples to rethink the concept of getting "married away."
No matter how you serve up your wedding, you ultimately want your guests to leave with a good taste in their mouths
It was an ordinary brit milah -- until the mohel passed out cold . . .
Sareet Rimon grew up knowing she wanted to have a henna party when she got married. For the local singer it meant carrying on a Moroccan tradition that had been honored by her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Given the condition of Judaism in 2008, a bar mitzvah is an ecumenical stew. It's not only the non-Jews who wonder about the significance and meaning of the ceremony, but even some of our fellow Israelites stare with wonder and, sometimes, awe.That's why a booklet of origins, explanations and exegesis is useful.
Lillie Hill knew that 16 marked a turning point in her son DJ's life. And while she had looked into several African rites of passage, she believed the Jewish bar mitzvah ceremony, with its emphasis on family heritage and good deeds, gave her the best blueprint to validate her son's dedication to family, school, community and church and to pass on her family's values of education, worship and social outreach.
So while my brother got punched out at his bar mitzvah -- by me -- this other kid met God. Of course, some kids start getting into trouble at this age, while others really start to excel as students.
Public lightings of Chanukah menorahs in the United States have grown exponentially since 1974, when Rabbi Abraham Shemtov of Philadelphia's Chabad-Lubavitch Center lit a small menorah at the foot of the Liberty Bell at Independence Hall.
Ellison's decision to carry a Quran into the ceremony has infuriated some conservatives, who draw a fine line between constitutional rights and American tradition.
"I want to recognize and celebrate a person whose intelligence, whose leadership, whose commitment and compassion have made a profound difference in our community, a person who has positively impacted thousands of young people's lives," said Lowell Milken, chairman of the Milken Family Foundation, which gave the naming gift and maintains close ties to the high school.
A Torah scroll that twice survived extinction was ushered to its new home in the Lainer Beit Mirdash of Milken Community High School on October 19.
I got married for the first time at 50. The groom was 51. Yes, we are both Jewish. We met online.
The resignation of a longtime leader of one of the largest Reform congregations in Ukraine has thrown the spotlight on a bitter controversy over homosexuality within the post-Soviet Reform movement.
When we think of bar and bat mitzvah gifts, many things come to mind: fountain pens, cuff links, picture frames, checks. But the true gifts of this religious rite of passage extend far beyond the envelopes and boxes piled up at the party door.
"Baruch Hashem, we are very pleased with the new synagogue," said Avi Cohan, a local Iranian businessman who is one of the founders of the Downtown Synagogue. "It looks just amazing with the nice chairs, and it's perfect for many of us who wanted a place for prayer at the end of the work day."
In the listing by countries of the five nominees for foreign language film honors, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gives the origin of "Paradise Now" as "Palestine."
In various Academy news releases, the designation has been "Palestinian Authority."
The traditional Jewish wedding ceremony as we know it has evolved over thousands of years. But suddenly, today, in what seems like a nanosecond out of all of recorded Jewish history, couples standing under the chuppah are seeking a whole new script.
Famous chefs gathered from all over Italy to cook for the wedding of Max Willinger, son of Faith Willinger, a well-known wine and food journalist who has lived in Florence for almost 40 years. She was overwhelmed by the culinary community who volunteered to cook the wedding feast.
Of course, there is little that you as a bride can do to make your wedding day last longer, but there are things you can do to make sure the beauty of your gown remains -- if not forever, then at least for a long time.
When I heard that the Jewish Image Awards were going to be held at the Beverly Hills Hotel, all I could think about was that scene in the movie "Troop Beverly Hills," when Shelley Long's character, Phyllis Nefler, took her Wilderness Girls to one of the bungalow suites after a storm drenched their campsite.
Soulful 'Hatikvah' Ends Wiesenthal Farewell
It was an unscripted, final moment that may have best captured the Monday memorial at the Museum of Tolerance for Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, who died last week at age 96.
The ceremony had been held outside. As long lines of mourners waited amidst rows of folded chairs to return into the museum, an elderly, white-haired man began singing Israel's national anthem, "Hatikvah," in a loud, lone voice. A ripple of applause followed after Gedalia Arditti, a 77-year-old Greek Jew, belted out the song's last word -- "Yer-u-shal-a-yim!"
My husband was called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah in 2001, more or less on the sixth anniversary of his conversion to Judaism. People started asking Spencer when he was going to have a bar mitzvah when his hair was barely dry from the mikvah.
Although today's bar mitzvah parties are often as elaborate as yesterday's weddings, there's a new trend on the horizon -- a, noisy, jubilant oneg Shabbat and lunch directly after the ceremony, and a quiet, intimate dinner at home for a few close friends and family at night.
Every bar mitzvah is the same, and there is none like any other," Morley Feinstein, our senior rabbi at Los Angeles' University Synagogue, says.
The bride circled the groom under the chuppah. The groom stomped a wine glass at the end of the ceremony and was greeted with shouts of "mazel tov."
Despite these traditional touches, this wedding was not performed by an Orthodox rabbi, and therefore not registered by the Chief Rabbinate, which has sole authority over Jewish marriage in Israel.
Everybody wanted to be in Moscow this past weekend. Leaders from all over the world flew in to partake in history: President George W. Bush, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder all made it, as did President Moshe Katzav of Israel.
As Syria formally pulled its troops out of Lebanon last month, the Lebanese and the Syrian chiefs of staffs gave speeches to mark the occasion. The words they used were flowery, but their faces were grim.
We know that Adar is a month of great joy. But there is one day, the 7th of Adar, which falls this year on March 18, when we take a small break from joy.
One of the worst things to say about an American Indian is that he or she acts like they have no family.
A very nice added attraction to your ceremony is the wedding booklet. This is a personal supplement to your wedding that the ushers will give to each guest as they are taken to their seats. The bride usually chooses a white or ecru linen material with black ink.
The cover states "The Wedding of ... " and usually has both the English and the Hebrew dates. We recommend art of flowers and we added the quote "Ani L'Dodi V'Dodi Li" -- "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine."
Nancy Goldov says the chuppah cost a few hundred dollars to make, but is now considered a priceless family heirloom. She is having a quilt made for their bed that mimics the design of the tree. Someday she may change the chuppah in some way to signify their children.
Just remember: The most important parts of planning an event is having fun and enjoying the benefits of all your hard work.
On the eve of Simchat Torah, many synagogues auction the three major honors of the day, with proceeds benefiting the synagogue or other Jewish institutions.
Becoming a grandparent is a very exciting event.
It is a job that demands a great deal of patience with parents as well as kids. Everything depends on: a) the cranial size of the student, and b) the size of the bribes offered by the parents to the kid.
The siren will mark the moment 10 years ago when a bomb went off, killing 85 people in the most devastating terrorist attack in modern Latin American history. Hundreds of Argentines are expected to be standing on Pasteur and in nearby streets to commemorate the anniversary of the tragedy.
The DAIA political umbrella group, together with AMIA and Familiaris de Las Victims -- the biggest group of victims' relatives -- jointly organized the commemoration ceremony in Buenos Aires.
>"A senator came to Israel as part of a mission to learn more about the country and the issues," recalled Herta Amir at a ceremony for the Israel Museum's honorary fellows on June 7. "This senator told me that finally she came to the Shrine of the Book.
When Galit Weidman Sassoon got engaged last year, her thoughts turned to the kind of wedding ceremony she and her fiancé wanted -- meaningful, egalitarian and Jewish.
Berkeley, 1959. The Berkeley Gazette announced the marriage of two students at Temple Beth El.
In the documentary, "Moving Heaven and Earth," an American Jew describes spying an African, Gershom Sizomu, amid the white expatriates in a Nairobi synagogue in the 1990s."
Amid a gaggle of Israeli security guards, bustling volunteers and California Highway Patrol officers wired up to communicate with who knows whom, Rabbi Abraham Cooper runs around the first two of about 50 rows of plastic seats temporarily set up in Jerusalem's Cats Square.
"Bring me chairs over here," says Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, as he tries to move some seats to make room for one more.
"[Israeli Defense Minister] Shaul Mofaz is not going to be a happy man," he says aloud to no one in particular. "See this guy over here?" he tells his helpers, pointing to a flimsy seat that doesn't look big enough to hold the name on the sign: "Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger," "this guy doesn't move."
As I watched our friends pin pale purple orchids to each other's lapels, sadness and outrage mingled with the happy excitement I had been feeling all afternoon. This was a bold, historic time in San Francisco and hundreds of city employees and volunteers were working themselves weary to make it happen.
Years ago, my husband and I climbed the alleged Mount Sinai, the Perseus shower streaked the Egyptian night sky with shooting stars.
"I don't want a bat mitzvah," she told her parents. "It's just for you and your relatives. You don't even need me there. So why don't you just throw your own party?"
It has been said that a man is not complete until he is married. Then, he is finished.
Well, I got married.
When last we visited these pages, I was on my way to the altar. My long-suffering girlfriend -- lets call her Alison, although I can't see why we should, when her name is and always was Amy -- agreed to the terms. She has since told me there was nothing in the ceremony about "obey," and you can only imagine how much I wish I had paid more attention before the rings were exchanged.
After only two hours of sleep, I woke up on Aug. 13, 2000, to the sounds of drizzle hitting my hotel window. With a pit in my stomach, I got out of bed -- terrified and excited all at once. It was my wedding day, the culmination of three months of harried planning. I desperately wanted everything about this day to be perfect, to reflect the perfect love that Brad and I shared.
My wedding story begins with a dress. Not just any dress, but the kind that makes people's heads turn when the wearer walks into a room.
If you've ever been to Ocean Parkway -- that long thoroughfare traversing all neighborhoods Brooklyn, connecting the BQE from "The City" (Manhattan), to the Belt Parkway from Long Island -- you'd have seen the two "island" streets lining the two outer streets like an Israeli flag, where old men played chess, young mothers strolled their children and we teenagers hung out.