Every time my son, Jonathan, left for school, for camp, for college, I felt a heartbreaking sense of loss. That’s because your main instinct as a mother is to keep your child as close to you as possible. But your main job as a mother is to prepare your kids to separate. It’s the cruel catch-22 of parenting.
"Hava Nagila” is one of those songs, like “Celebration” and “Auld Lang Syne,” that brings back memories and gets stuck in one’s head. In fact, “Hava Nagila” is so ingrained in American pop culture that many non-Jews can readily identify it, and high-profile non-Jewish recording artists, including Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis and Glen Campbell, count their renditions as a career highlight.
Two weeks ago, Noami Cohen and Uzi Madar had a traditional engagement party for Jews from Arab countries called a “hina.” They dressed in colorful costumes, danced and partied with 120 of their friends.
Islands and honeymoons are a time-tested match made in heaven. Perhaps that’s why so many newlyweds flirt with Fiji, a gorgeous archipelago nation in the South Pacific.
Marnie Alexis Friedman and Steven Barnett Stiglitz married on Sept. 2 at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles. Rabbi Adam Kligfeld of Temple Beth Am officiated, and Rabbi Laura Geller of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills participated under the chuppah as well.
Actress Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied reportedly were married in a Jewish ceremony.
Lavish weddings featuring guest lists upward of 500 people were seemingly de rigueur in Southern California's Iranian-Jewish community just five years ago. But the growth of six-figure simchas strained middle-class families, leading some couples to either call off a wedding or divorce a few months after getting married.
Born into a poor Moroccan immigrant family that settled in the development town of Dimona, Yardena Ovadia always dreamed of giving her daughter a fairy-tale wedding.
A landmark vote last week by the Conservative movement’s rabbinic committee has established rituals for same-sex wedding ceremonies, affirming that same-sex marriages have “the same sense of holiness and joy as that expressed in heterosexual marriages.”
After Talya Ilovitz (née Strauss) got engaged, the hunt for a dress for her Orthodox wedding felt endless. She never imagined her best option would be a sleeveless white cocktail dress a few sizes too big. But after searching widely, every other possibility was either too expensive or didn’t have sleeves.
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.
A Jewish plastic surgeon in Miami has offered scholarships to Orthodox Jewish singles for nose jobs to help them land a spouse.
Israel's Knesset passed a measure requiring rabbinical courts to follow up on divorce cases to ensure that the husband gives his wife a Jewish writ of divorce.
Two bills that would allow Jewish couples in Israel to be married by Modern Orthodox rabbis in the city of their choice were approved by a Knesset committee.
Anna Melman and Ari Bronstein are in the midst of planning their wedding, which will be held in January in Israel. They have a venue and a rabbi. But they want to find ways of making the traditional ceremony more egalitarian.
An organization of Modern Orthodox rabbis who performed alternative religious wedding ceremonies for non-religious couples has been banned from registering the couples as married.
The Jewish dating Web site JDate recently announced results from a study that claims the site is responsible for facilitating more Jewish marriages than all other dating Web sites combined. The study, commissioned in-house by JDate’s parent company, Spark Networks, and conducted by the research company ResearchNow, reportedly was based on a survey of 948 Jewish Internet users who have married since 2003. Of those surveyed, 52 percent said they met their match on JDate, compared with Match.com, which facilitated 17 percent, and eHarmony, which can claim 10 percent.
Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney reportedly spent the night before his wedding at Yom Kippur services.
Jewish centers and synagogues were evacuated as a result of the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that was felt throughout the East Coast.
For Rabbi Mike Comins and his bride-to-be, Jody Porter, the decision to commission a custom ketubah was a no-brainer. Comins, who had advised many couples about matrimonial matters over the course of his career, firmly believed in the centrality of a ketubah to the covenant of marriage. Porter agreed, adding that “since a spiritual journey was part of our courtship, it was important for us to have this [a ketubah] be a part of our wedding.”
The only requirement of a chuppah, or bridal canopy, is that it be a temporary structure open on all sides, just as Abraham and Sarah had their tent to welcome their friends and family. So anything is possible from a creative standpoint.
Britain rescinded an invitation to the royal wedding to Syria's ambassador because of Syrian government attacks on anti-government protesters. The invitation was withdrawn Thursday, the day before the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, according to reports, citing Britain's Foreign Office.
An Israeli couple was married in a civil union for the first time.
Lilly Friedman doesn’t remember the last name of the woman who designed and sewed the wedding gown she wore when she walked down the aisle more than 60 years ago. But the grandmother of seven does recall that when she first told her fiancé Ludwig that she had always dreamed of being married in a white gown, he realized he had his work cut out for him.
A DJ and a music professor, using old recordings and new, recreate the typical sequence of tunes a klezmer band would play at every stage of a traditional wedding.
Most brides want beauty and romance during their wedding -- an expression of their love in the form of a grandiose ceremony. But for many couples, a lavish wedding would require a major financial sacrifice at time when few can afford to do so.
The Gaon also weighed in on tenaim plates and demanded they be ceramic, since "just as a ceramic plate cannot be repaired, so the families should be warned not to renege on their commitments."
Three Jewish teenagers were attacked in the same Paris district where another Jewish teen was beaten severely in June.
The latest pledge consists of a $20 million contribution for 2009 and $10 million for 2010, said Michael Bohnen, president of the Adelson Foundation, in a news release Tuesday announcing the gift.
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
For some, it is a spiritual moment of human dignity finally resting upon everyone. For others, it is a sign that society is being sucked into an eddy of moral dissolution.
My fiance, David, cheerfully agreed to designate groomsmen to accompany my green-clad friends down the aisle (another ceremonial tradition not done in Israel -- there, only the bride and groom walk down the aisle). However, despite showing them how lovely matching bridesmaids and groomsmen look on David's Bridals' Web site, we could not convince his three brothers to wear matching suits.
Finding love a second or third time is not always so effortless, but 52 percent of men and 43.5 percent of women remarried in 2004, according to a 2007 U.S. census bureau report. And Jews are no exception.
This moment that is supposed to be about eternal union is more about capturing eternal beauty in a photo that's going to be mounted in the living room so everyone can silently think, "Man, she used to be a lot thinner."
He's a nice Jewish boy, she's a nice Jamaican girl, but what will happen when klezmer meets reggae at the wedding?
Shoshana Li, a descendant of the Jewish community of Kaifeng, China, recently made aliyah and married an American Jewish immigrant to Israel. The wedding was organized by the Shavei Israel organization.
"What is this chuppah? We didn't order it."
Maria Shvarts, 80, spotting the wedding canopy standing on the dance floor at West Hollywood's Cafe Troyka, asked the restaurant staff to remove it. She and her husband Boris, 84, were hosting a 60th anniversary party. Guests were arriving, and the chuppah -- obviously from a previous celebration, she thought -- was an obstruction.
The situation couldn't be more stressful: convince your ex-boyfriend to sing at your sister's wedding after the band quits; keep the groom's sister from making it "her" day; assure the groom's mother that it is OK to have a store-bought wedding cake; make sure the bride's divorced parents don't kill each other; don't let the bride know the groom had a stripper at his bachelor party; and above all, keep the bride calm.
With our country's growing concern about the environment, many couples are choosing to have eco-friendly weddings. Jewish brides and grooms-to-be in the Southland are no exception.
When Richard Weiner and Judith Forman geared up for their November nuptials last year, they didn't register at Crate & Barrel, Macy's or Bed, Bath & Beyond.
"We're 65 years old," chuckled Weiner, a Philadelphia lawyer who has become bicoastal since marrying his Manhattan Beach bride. "We're at an age when you start getting rid of stuff, not getting new stuff."
Making a toast at an event is a touching way to let friends and family know how much you value them and wish them well. I still get misty-eyed when I think of the beautiful toast that my brother-in-law gave at my wedding welcoming me to the family. But public speaking doesn't come easily to everyone. We've all been to big affairs where the toasts were embarrassing and in bad taste, leaving a pall over the entire day -- and beyond.
Getting married is a balancing act. I never quite understood this until my guy proposed.
What's the big deal in wedding planning? I always thought. You set a date, pick a place, settle on a band, choose a few of your favorite flowers and do a dinner and cake tasting. What's difficult about that?
It's not difficult. In fact, that part's been rather fun. However, the part that I am complaining about is the negotiations between family and friends. Trying to please everyone is proving impossible.