Wedding ceremony tips for interfaith couples

By Jessica Elgot, April 7, 2011

A course from the Reform movement will help Jews in mixed marriages plan an "interfaith wedding".

Sessions at Jeneration's first DIY Weddings workshop this weekend will include how to introduce a religious element into the ceremony, the practicalities of attending synagogue and church and discussing a mixed relationship with parents.

Jeneration project worker Zahavit Shalev said: "We will be looking at how to conduct a ceremony using traditions from both religions and backgrounds. We'll explore how to talk to family members about it and about how they can raise their children.

"By the time people come to us, most will have got over the initial shock of: 'I'm in love with this person and they're not Jewish.' Now they are getting to the stage where they say: 'OK, this is the situation, now how do we make it work?'"

The object of the course was to encourage Jews in mixed relationships to consider a Jewish aspect to their ceremony, instead of rejecting religion altogether. "Many couples I've spoken to say they have just bypassed religion at their weddings because it's too complicated.

Many have bypassed religion at weddings

"But a lot of people don't want to neglect it. We want to encourage people to be part of the Jewish community. We want to help people find some kind of Jewish life. Mixed faith couples are a growing scenario and it's not going away."

Although the issue of conversion would not be ad-dressed specifically, "we will let people know that the door isn't closed".

Last updated: 1:58pm, April 7 2011