All our synagogues hold marriage licences and our weddings are carried out in accordance with halacha (Jewish law). If you would like a Masorti rabbi to officiate at your wedding, whether in synagogue or at another venue, please contact your local community or the Masorti Judaism office.
Most wedding ceremonies in the Masorti movement follow traditional patterns. The couple stand under the huppah (marriage canopy), traditional blessings are recited, a ring is given, a glass is broken at the end. Some couples choose to add innovative elements to their ceremonies while others opt for alternative, non-traditional weddings such as an egalitarian ‘shutafut’ (partnership) ceremony. You can discuss all the options with your rabbi.
Many Masorti rabbis conduct same-sex weddings (although typically not kiddushin, the traditional form of betrothal used in marriages between men and women) and others are happy to officiate same sex commitment ceremonies which mark a couple’s commitment to each other while stopping short of marriage. Most Masorti communities offer registration of same-sex marriage under English law. Please contact us for details of rabbis who can conduct your same-sex ceremony.
Women can take on a range of roles in a Masorti wedding. The wedding may be conducted by a female rabbi or chazan. The bride may sign the ketubah and give her husband a ring, and female friends may actively participate in the ceremony. Our ceremonies range from fully traditional to completely egalitarian.
No. We will only conduct a wedding if both partners are halachically Jewish. However, we welcome couples and families with Jewish and non-Jewish members, and encourage them to take a full part in the life of the community.
Yes. We will be happy to enable for you to sanctify your relationship in a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony.
There is no connection between the kind of marriage you choose and your children’s Jewish status. If a mother is Jewish then her children are Jewish. However, some Orthodox synagogues will not accept a non-Orthodox ketubah as proof of Jewish status. Practically speaking, this means that if you or your parents were married in a Masorti synagogue, you may need to bring alternative proof of your Jewish status if you wish to join an Orthodox community. In the UK it is illegal for schools to ask for proof of applicants’ Jewish status.
After the wedding, a couple is legally married and cannot marry a second time. To conduct a second ceremony means reciting unnecessary blessings – which is forbidden in Jewish law. Therefore, if a couple has undergone an Orthodox wedding they will not be able to have a subsequent Masorti ceremony. There are cases where Orthodox rabbis ask couples to have a second, Orthodox ceremony after a Masorti wedding. This is a dubious practice which should be discouraged.
The European Masorti Bet Din issues gittin (divorce documents) and deals with all questions of divorce in the movement. A couple may go to either an Orthodox or Masorti Bet Din for their divorce. There are many considerations when choosing which Bet Din to use – questions of status, where the original wedding took place and future plans for marriage are all relevant. You should consult with your rabbi before choosing where to go for a divorce.
We are committed to preventing agunot in our communities. The European Masorti Bet Din is responsible for divorce proceedings in the movement and will look into any potential case of iggun and work to solve the problem. We are best able to do this where the couple have been married in the Masorti movement. This means that those who have had a Masorti wedding are unlikely to find themselves in this distressing situation.