London rabbi saves French wedding

September 1, 2011

A London Liberal rabbi saved the wedding of a Russian couple marrying in France.

Anna Gerrard stepped in to officiate at the last minute after an Orthodox minister refused to conduct the ceremony in St Jean Cap Ferrat, having discovered that the groom was not halachically Jewish. In a panic, the couple contacted the Liberal Judaism head office in central London, where Rabbi Gerrard is part of the new ministerial team.

As she was already scheduled to be in France to conduct a mixed-faith wedding blessing, near Limoges, she was able to come to their rescue.

"It was a hectic schedule to do weddings in different parts of France in one weekend," she said. "But I was determined to be there for the Russian couple.

"When I asked the bride of the Limoges wedding if she minded me arriving 24 hours later than planned, she immediately agreed, saying how angry it made her when Orthodoxy treats people in this way."

Last updated: 1:49pm, September 1 2011